“The light in Cuban eyes”, so gentle and beautiful the title of a new book of a collection of photographs by Cuban photographers amassed by Madeleine P. Plonsker, the philanthropist. Ms. Plonsker of Lake Forest College in the U.S. has traveled to Cuba since 2002. Photographs by many unknown Cuban photographers make up this collection of photography which cover the “Special Period” in Cuba.
Cuba’s “Special Period” refers to a time when the financial relationship between Cuba and the Soviet Union ended in 1989 resulting in a time of extreme economic hardship for the Cuban people. Combined with the American embargo against Cuba, food shortages, medicine, petroleum, power outages and other necessities of life contributed to the extreme suffering of the people.
The 350 page book in Spanish and English is a collection of contemporary Cuban photography from 50 photographers such as Juan Carlos Alom, Adrián Fernández Milanés, Marta María Pérez Bravo, Cirenaica Moreira and Glenda León who are relatively unknown beyond the shores of the island of Cuba.
A collaborative project between Cuba and the US produced a ballet by the same name for the Havana Biennial 2015. The National Ballet School of Cuba and the Endedans Contemporary Ballet performed in a work with music by the prizewinning Cuban pianist Frank Fernandez. Choreographer Pedro Ruiz from the United States created the structure and form of the dance.