Cuba will have a new president in 2016. Mauricio Abad’s project for BOFFO ♥ Digital Commissions takes inspiration from this momentous and imminent event, which many Cubans look toward with varying degrees of hope, anxiety, and curious speculation. In order to survey these political feelings, Abad turned to a specific group that has forged a defiantly resistant stance toward the nation’s technological isolation: the Street Network for Entertainment and Technology. SNET is an underground community of video gamers, developed and maintained through illicit Wi-Fi networks. Abad asked members of this community: “If you were president, what would you do first?” He composed the answers into meme form, overlaying the responses on humorous and illustrative images. Although at times parodic, the meme form also suggests that individual responses are part of a collective political desire. By presenting his project on Instagram, Abad is able to connect a specific sector of technologically savvy and motivated young Cubans with a global social media community. Yet his work maintains a decidedly human scale; as the project centers on a simple and direct question to individuals, Abad reveals the personal sides of a complex political and cultural shift that is being discussed across the world.
Full project details can be found here