A Cuban Family

 A knife fight breaks out on the Malecon. Arian keeps his fishing knife close to his side in response to the drunken group of men. 

A knife fight breaks out on the Malecon. Arian keeps his fishing knife close to his side in response to the drunken group of men. 

 
 
 

Pictured top left, Arian enjoys the view from his balcony in the morning. His building was deemed unlivable in the 1980's due to structural problems and lack of water, but Arian and his mother Nidieska, have continued to live within the shared apartment building since 1987. The first floor of the building collapsed in 2000. 

 

Arian, a seventeen-year-old Cuban, runs across the roof of his building complex. He lives in Central Havana, Cuba.

 

After work, Arian loves to fish with his friends. At night he puts his inventive skills to use by making his own fishing tackle.

 
 

From a young age Arian has enjoyed swimming in the Malecon. Recently it has become prohibited to swim in the Malecon, but like most Cubans he takes the plunge anyways.

 

Inside the one room home the family gathers to enjoy a meal and a television program. 

 

Carlos (Nidieska's uncle) and Nidieska relax after dinner. 

 

Nidieska holds a freshly caught “Heguagua” with much intensity before Ariam beheads it. Nidieska exclaims in excitement “Look at what my son did!” The fish will feed them for two weeks. Ariam replies, “That’s right mom, and what have you done with your life?”

 

Nidieska holds her niece on a weekend afternoon.

 

Arian washes himself before going to bed.

 

Oscito, the family dog, plays on Carlos' bed—Arian’s great uncle.

 

Nidieska, 40 years old, cries tears of joy.

 

Arian rides a bus at 5 am. He recently found work as a machinist at a factory an hour away.

 
 Arian's grandmother asks for a cup of rum. 

Arian's grandmother asks for a cup of rum. 

 

Arian comes inside from the balcony. Nidieska often remarks that he is a deep thinker.

 

Following an injured kitten into her building, Nidieska takes a seat in tears. She says her biggest fear is to come home and find the building collapsed with her son Arian inside. Occasionally there is an electrical fire and they will lose power for days at a time.

 

In the evening, Nidieska must gather gallons of water from a public water spigot five blocks from her home. Due to her AIDs and Osteoporosis, the journey is very difficult for her. Arian usually helps Nidieska with the daily chore.

 

This year Arian and his mother Nidieska were able to purchase a new mattress. They consider themselves to be very fortunate to be living in the city and not in the countryside of cuba—where living conditions are often worse.

 

Nidieska is up late washing dishes, and then herself.

 

Arian hang’s out with friends and smokes a Cuban cigar for the first time.

 

Carlos leans over his balcony while smoking a cigarette. He is an auto painter for a stateowned business.

 

Arian and Nidieska embrace on the balcony outside of their room.