Dangerous Current / 14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez

This mess of bad connections is likely to have been conceived as an interim solution that has become permanent. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 8 February 2017 – In Central Havana where people live in very close quarters, popular speech develops at a dizzying speed and the illegal sellers have their kingdom among the corridors and passageways. But this part of the city is also among the few areas with an underground electrical system, an installation that has the great advantage of not suffering damages due to the collapse of polls or the effects of strong winds.

In the emerging Cuban real estate market, being located in an area where the wires run under the street adds a lot of value. The sellers boast of this detail, pointing to it with the same pride that others declare the high quality of their house because it was “constructed under capitalism,” or – and it’s the same thing – before 1959.

At the central corner of Galiano and Dragones there was once a discreet rewiring, barely perceptible, that has now become a public threat. This mess of connections was probably conceived as a temporary solution that has now become permanent. Passersby avoid it, the neighbors up above avoid throwing water from their balconies and parents make haste to warn their children, “don’t touch it.”

Maybe someone should hang a sign that says, “Dangerous Current.” Not only to warn of the risk of accidental contact, but also to point out how usual and common these kinds of scenes have become in the capital. A detail that no owner will reveal in the sugar-coated descriptions they publish to sell their house.