ALAMAR East Havana

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Alamar a concrete city and suburb of Havana
is the birthplace of the Cuban Hip Hop and Rap scene

Alamar East Havana Cuba - Rap City Alamar a suburb 20 km east of Central Havana with more than 250,000 inhabitants is one big housing project. This project started in the seventies with the construction of large concrete ugly " Soviet style" buildings . Today more than 2000 buildings named: "edificio's" have been built and the construction still goes on. The majority of the buildings was built with the help of the former Soviet Union and with the collapse of the Soviet Union the Cubans lost their subsidy and assistance. A period of pure survival named " the special period" started.

With hardly enough money to buy food, the buildings felt rapidly in decay. Alamar is a dormitory town with no real town center or recreation and far from the touristical Old Havana. Some people compare Alamar to the South Bronx but Cubans talk about Alamar as their "cementery".
To survive mentally relying on family, neighbors and friends is essential. No wonder that Alamar is the birthplace of the Cuban Hip Hop and Rap culture as a means to vent their frustrations.


The vibrant Cuba Rap found his roots in the economic crisis that followed the collapse of Cuba's ally, the former Soviet Union.
This period known on the island as the "Special Period" led to poverty and growing social difference between Cubans.

In ALAMAR, a town of more than 250,000 inhabitants, many of the Rap groups were formed , names like Papa Humbertico, and the group Orishas (the Gods) are well known on the Rap scene.
The Rap Movement and their songs became rapidly popular among the Cuban youth, who could identify themselves with the lyrics full of frustration, police repression and lack of economic well being.
Each year in August the Cuba Rap Festival is held in Alamar Havana del Este (East Havana)


Periodicity : Annual
Sponsor : Asociacion Hermanos Saiz
Venue : Alamar , Havana del Este
Organizing committee : Sr Alpido Alonso
Email : ahs at

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Open Air Trash Art Museum in Alamar
Arte Primitivista museo Alamar, Habana del Este

Trash art in Alamar East Havana Trash art in Alamar Havana-guide: Trash art in Alamar East Havana
Trash Art, an open air museum and creative compositions made with rubbish in Alamar, East Havana. Alamar Art, a composition with old cash registers A creative "Art" collection in harmony with a building in decay symbol of the Cuban survival spirit.

Garbage pickers, for several Cubans, survival is a daily challenge.
An article in GRANMA, the Communist Party daily newspaper reported the existence of garbage pickers, named " Buzos" on the streets of Havana.
More than 300 persons were accused of scarvenging and they got fined for their illegal practice of collecting empty beer cans and plastic bottles to make a profit.
The newspaper blamed at the same time the inefficiency of the City Removal Services. "Grandma" further said that the city service will intensify the actions against the Buzos and praised the CDR
(Committees for the Defence of the Revolution)for their actions and watchfulness.

havana scarvengers - Havana buzos

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