Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Parada calle 23 y Paseo, Barrio Vedado, La Habana, Cuba. Dec. 10, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada San Agostin, Barrio La Lisa, La Habana, Cuba. Dec. 1, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada carretera por Manzanillo, Peralejo, Cuba. Dec. 14, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada Empresa Electrica, salida por Santiago, Bayamo, Cuba. Dec. 13, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada calle Aguilera, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Dec. 17, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada carretera por Moa, Holguin, Cuba. Dec. 17, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada calzada de Luyano, Barrio Luyano, La Habana, Cuba. Dec. 9, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada Virgen del Camino, Barrio Guanabacoa, La Habana, Cuba. Dec. 7, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada calzada por Manzanillo, Bayamo, Cuba. Dec. 14, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada delegaci˜on MININT-Ministry of Internal Affairs, Bayamo, Cuba. Dec. 13, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada minera Ernesto Guevara, Moa, Cuba. Dec. 16, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada calzada el Cerro, Barrio Luyano, La Habana, Cuba. Dec. 9, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada calle Sergio Dopigo, Vinales, Cuba. Dec. 8, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

Parada calzada Mantilla, Barrio Arroyo Naranjo, La Habana, Cuba. Dec. 10, 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Theo Zierock

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Paradas – a nation built on patience

By Theo Zierock

There would be no butter for two days. “My friend, if you want to eat your pasta Bolognese, you have to wait until next week. We are in Cuba, amigo! No milk products today,” I was told. That delay inspired me to start this project.

Communist Cuba has shown an increasing willingness to promote development over the past decades. Investments in strategic industries, infrastructure and logistical development have been perpetuated but always under the dogma of a “sustainable and organic growth.” The party demands dedicated work and patience from Cubans to grow at the nation’s pace, according to its economic possibilities.

For Cubans this means waiting. Waiting for a good sound system to be more affordable in the shops, waiting for drinking glasses to be cheaper next week, waiting to get a seat on the train to Santiago, waiting for travel documents, waiting in line at Western Union or simply waiting for the bus. As I traveled through Cuba before and during the change in Cuban-American relations on Dec. 17, the stoic acceptance of longer waiting times became clear to me. It is ingrained in society.

The older generation is widely accustomed to the waiting times, but the youngsters are in a hurry. Internet, competition and consumerism are newly acquired features. The socialist model of organic growth cannot compete with the infinite choices and possibilities of the Western world. No nostalgia for the slow lifestyle of their parents. Cubans now all know about the sweet taste of having options, because of an international capital market and private entrepreneurship booming on the island.

To capture this wait, I needed a subject that was available throughout the island at any time and a way to bypass the military, questioning my professional intentions. Most waiting lines are related to the government, so supervisors would read a political intent in my actions as a journalist. But public transportation is widespread and functioning well. The bus stops were accurately constructed and decorated by state-employed artists. Even people seemed to stand and wait in harmonic compositions. Because the shade under the bus stops made good exposures difficult, I usually waited for cloudy days or early mornings to hunt for “paradas.” I would stop my driver/fixer Valotis Velazquez whenever the light was good enough and the stop seemed interesting (not too crowded/chaotic, different demographics, different poses).

These pictures are meant to combine the past and present acceptance of the ideology-driven delay in development by older generations with the patience of the millennials, waiting for a progressive economic liberation.

Website: www.theozierock.com
Instagram: @theozierock
Twitter:  theozierock

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