Cuba Black And White

CompanyAnna Mia Davidson Photography
PhotographerAnna Mia Davidson
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

This body of work is about hope, humanity, and the perseverance of the human spirit despite obstacles to exist. The images are from my book Cuba Black And White (Published by Steidl) a long-term documentary project about Cuba during the end of the ‘Special Period’ 1999-2008. The 'Special Period' in Cuba was a euphemism for an extended period of economic crisis that began in 1989 primarily due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and extended to the end of the 1990's. It was this period of time when hope for an uncertain future started to be regained. The series of images submitted for consideration are from the countryside where the heart of sustainable agricultural endeavors take place. It was there that I found amongst trying economic times, the Cuban people demonstrate humanity, perseverance, and an incredible spirit.

Story

The 'Special Period' in Cuba was a euphemism for an extended period of economic crisis that began in 1989 primarily due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and extended to the end of the 1990's. The early stages of the Special Period were defined by a general breakdown in transportation and agricultural sectors, and widespread food shortages. Australian and other permaculturists arriving in Cuba at the time began to distribute aid and taught their techniques to locals, who soon implemented them in Cuban fields across the nation. Organic agriculture was soon after mandated by the Cuban government, supplanting the old industrialized form of agriculture Cubans had grown accustomed to. Relocalization, permaculture, and innovative modes of mass transit had to be rapidly developed. For a time food consumption was cut back to one-fifth of its previous level and the average Cuban lost about nine kilograms (twenty pounds). Although starvation was avoided, persistent hunger, something not seen since before the Cuban Revolution, suddenly became a daily experience, and initially, malnutrition in children under five was evident after just a few weeks of these food shortages. This body of work is about hope, humanity, and the perseverance of the human spirit despite obstacles to exist. The images are from my book Cuba Black And White (Published by Steidl) a long-term documentary project about Cuba during the end of the ‘Special Period’ 1999-2008. It was this period of time when hope for an uncertain future started to be regained. The series of images submitted for consideration are from the countryside where the heart of sustainable agricultural endeavors take place. It was there that I found amongst trying economic times, the Cuban people demonstrate humanity, perseverance, an incredible spirit, and ultimately inspire a deeper perspective of the island nation.

About Photographer

Anna Mia Davidson was born and raised in New York City. Her work has been shown at Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York; Farmani Gallery, Los Angeles; Leica Gallery, Los Angeles, Leica Gallery New York; Benham Gallery, Seattle; Fototeca Gallery, Havana; Lehigh University, Pennsylvania; and is part of Zoellner Art Center’s permanent collection. Davidson was commissioned as a “Character of America” Photographer by Aperture and USA Television Network, and has been awarded several honors including sponsorship from Blue Earth Alliance for her project on Cuba, the Jeni Dellaccio Award for photography, an International Photo Award and Honorable Mention, and the 2004 Golden Light Top Photographers Award for Documentary Photography. Davidson has been a guest speaker at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Seattle Town Hall, and was selected as an Arts Envoy for the United States Embassy Thailand. Davidson is based in Seattle, Washington.