Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cuba's Roofs, Small Spaces of Freedom

Cuba's Roofs, Small Spaces of Freedom
Posted: 10/28/2014 9:39 pm EDT Updated: 10/28/2014 9:59 pm EDT

14ymedio, YOANI SANCHEZ, Havana, 28 October 2014 - Some cities have a
subterranean life. Metros, tunnels, basements... the human victory of
winning inches from the stone. Havana no, Havana is a surface city, with
very little underground. However, on the roofs of the houses, on the
most unthinkable rooftops, little houses have been erected, baths, pig
pens and pigeon coops. As if above the ceilings everything were
possible, unreachable.

Ignacio has an illegal satellite dish on a neighbor's roof, it is hidden
under grape vines that gives undersized sour grapes. A few yards away
someone has built a cage for fighting dogs, which seek out the shade
during the day, thirsty and bored. On the other side of the street
several members of one family broke down the wall that connects to the
roof of an old state workshop. They've built a terrace and a toilet on
the abandoned place. At nightfall they play dominos, while the breezes
of the Malecon wash over them.

Carmita keeps all her treasure on top of her house. Some enormous wooden
beams with which she wants to shore up her quarters before they fall in.
Every week she climbs up to see if the rain and the heat have swollen
the wood and cracked the pillars. Her grandson uses the roof for trysts,
when night falls and the eyes barely distinguish shadows, although the
ears detect the moans.

Everyone lives a part of their existence up there, in the Havana that
wants to stretch to the sky but can barely manage to rise a few inches.

Source: Cuba's Roofs, Small Spaces of Freedom | Yoani Sanchez -

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