Artworks \ La gran rifa del año

La gran rifa del año

De la serie Con todos y para el bien de unos cuantos

– In collaboration with Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara


The work emerged in response to the opening of Cuba’s first five-star plus luxury hotel. At that time, the hotel infrastructure in Havana began to be renovated. The first of those hotels was the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, which officially opened on June 7, 2017. It is located in the heart of Old Havana, across from Central Park, in one of the most central urban areas of the capital. The facility occupied a building known as Manzana de Gómez, a former shopping mall. It is a high-end establishment inaccessible to ordinary Cubans, even to the most qualified professionals.

El Oficio, Havana, Cuba [2018]

Nestor Siré and artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara -who had made a performance to this space under the title Dónde está Mella (Where is Mella) – set out to host a Cuban in the luxurious rooms of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana. To this end, they set in motion a social practice called “ponina” or collect, which is when a group of individuals gathers a determined amount of resources in favor of someone or something. The artists created a public raffle in which they sold 250 numbers at 2 CUC each (equivalent to 2 USD), to obtain 500 USD, the price of a room per night, including breakfast for two people.

The project faces an economic decision that had an impact on Cuban reality. The luxurious Manzana Kempinski is representative of those places and services to which the locals, with their meager salaries, cannot have access. In that sense, the work reverses the systems of power to this order of inequality, the mark of a society divided into classes, and offers a new horizon of possibility.

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