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"Technological Disobedience" in Cuba and informal making education


by Susan Klimczak -

The FabLearn Fellows have been talking a lot about decentering the history and definition of making, makers and maker education.  

I ran across this video on "Technological Disobedience" in Cuba that sparked my imagination.

The description says:

In 1991, Cuba's economy began to implode. "The Special Period in the Time of Peace" was the government's euphemism for what was a culmination of 30 years worth of isolation. It began in the 60s, with engineers leaving Cuba for America. Ernesto Oroza, a designer and artist, studied the innovations created during this period. He found that the general population had created homespun, Frankenstein-like machines for their survival, made from everyday objects. Oroza began to collect these machines, and would later contextualize it as "art" in a movement he dubbed "Technological Disobedience."

Here is a link to an article about the video and idea:

He describes how people in Cuba became fearless makers and tinkerers and has collected their inventions because he feels they are artistic expressions, as well as tools for survival.  

I think that we should add this story whenever we speak about the history of "making" and "maker education." Education takes place as people work together informally to define problems in their community and find solutions. . . not just in schools, in enrichment programs or among hobbists!

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