black and white street photography by Bela Doka in Cuba during the Periodo Especial, in Havana 1994 1998

Bela Doka El Periodo Especial

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

Monthly Photo Contest

© Sujan Sarkar

THEME: STREET PHOTOGRAPHY Deadline: 30 September 2020

"It’s not the streets, it’s where the streets lead you that’s important." - Bruce Davidson

Street photography has been one of the most exciting and influential forms of photography since its creation.

Whether the subject is your own city or as you explore other territories and cultures: this month we want to discover the streets through YOUR lens!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

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