Leigh Hatts

íCuba Libre! Photographs by Eleanor Marriott

A photographic exhibition by Bankside-based Eleanor Marriott has opened at Canning House, home of the Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Council, in Belgrave Square.

Eleanor Marriott at Canning House
Eleanor Marriott at Canning House
íCuba Libre! Photographs by Eleanor Marriott

Eleanor made a second visit to Cuba this year to document some of the country's characteristics during the 50th anniversary of its Revolution.

"I now realise that the Revolution is inherent in many of my photographs even if I hadn't intended it to be," says Eleanor. "It's there in the children who are playing in the streets because there isn't internet, Nintendo or cable television to keep them indoors."

Her pictures show beautifully dressed women including one "taking a cigar break", a tobacco drying house, typical old town arcading, a very old lady and of course many young people. The pictures convey a life without western stress although there are difficulties.

She found shortages of soap and toothpaste as well as erractic water supplies in the countryside beyond the tight tourist areas. But she met a highly skilled and educated people and reports great generosity towards a visitor.

"Whatever the impact my photographs have I hope they encourage you to visit or return to this incredible country so thay you too can experience those wonderful contradictions and idiosyncracies that make Cuba and its people so unique and special."

íCuba Libre! is at Canning House, 2 Belgrave Square, Monday to Friday 2pm-5pm until Friday 31 July; admission free. Principal sponsors include Cubana bar and restaurant in Lower Marsh.

A selection of the photographs will be shown during July in the Cuba Vida! Photography exhibition in association with ArTELIER at the Bridewell Theatre in St Bride Lane EC4 as part of the London Bridge Festival.

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