What Our Kitchens Might Say About Us
The communist-ruled island has been under a U.S. trade embargo for 50 years, and life for most Cubans is still difficult, despite recent economic reforms.Below are 3 of the 30 photographs that photographer Ellen Silvermann is showing in her series Spare Beauty: The Cuban Kitchen in New York City this week.
Silverman's images show the kitchens as she finds them. Well-used pots sit on stoves or burners, utensils hang from plaster walls with faded paint, and mismatched plates are piled haphazardly.
Some of the kitchens don't have tables and chairs. Usually, Silverman says, she would see a pot of rice cooking or a metal coffee maker ready to brew a fresh cup. There seems to be an absence of food on display or on countertops — like fruit in a bowl or vegetables in a basket — stark reminder of most Cubans' difficult economic situation.
"People are still rationed. They get a ration card and you get a certain amount of food a month," she explains. "There are supermarkets, but there are very few ... people buying food on a daily basis. Not everybody has refrigerators."