Susan Bank

Cuba: Adentro Campo

March 5, 2009 - March 29, 2009

Susan S. Bank’s Campo Adentro project began in March 2002. What Bank intended as a weekend retreat from the hustle of Havana became a deeply intense personal journey, and she returned again and again for the next five years to barrio Cuajaní, in the Valley of Viñales, Pinar del Río Province. Bank says, “landing in Havana–that illusive, mythical citadel of contradictions and juxtapositions–one feels catapulted back in time to the 1950′s. To know Pinar del Río, is to feel gently pulled back another fifty years.”

Bank lived and worked among campesinos (tobacco farmers) and their families who subsisted without modern conveniences. About the experience, Bank says, “here was an opportunity to photograph people whom I believe had never been touched by another extranjero/foreign photographer. Carrying a handheld Leica M6 and using natural light, I concentrated on ten households, all related either by blood or marriage. Rising before dawn, walking alone along the dark caminito, stepping over untethered oxen, waiting for that magical hour, the first flutter of light over the mountains . . . wanting to believe in the possibility of hope for that one day only . . . working from raw, simple, ordinary details, I set out to create an intimate and poetic portrait of daily life of the campesinos of barrio Cuajaní.”

2009Blue SkySusan Bank