Hungarian photographer Bela Doka captured the street life of Cuba during the so called “Periodo Especial”.
Bela Doka lived in Havana from 1994 and 1998. As a direct witness of the economic depression at it’s most severe, he extensively photographed Havana, Cuba and it’s people. Drawing the intimate portrait of a Cuban society in crisis. At a time when hopes, resourcefulness and dreams met reality.
The Special Period in Time of Peace (“Período especial”) in Cuba was a euphemism for an extended period of economic crisis that began in 1989 mostly due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Primarily defined by the severe shortages of energetic resources such as gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum, the economic crisis of the Special Period was at its most severe in the early to mid-1990s. The country lost approximately 80% of its imports/exports and its Gross Domestic Product dropped by 34%. Food and medecine imports stopped or severely slowed.
The period radically transformed the Cuban society and its economy, as it decreased use of cars, and overhauled industry, health, and diet countrywide. A time during which most people were forced to live without the many goods they had become used to.
– Discover more of Bela’s work here: Bela Doka