Defending the “spider”


The lack of means of transportation doesn’t reduce us to immobility, but it does take more time and creativity to get ourselves underway.  Hence Havana is filled with jerry-rigged cars that could not pass a thorough technical inspection, and in the provinces animal traction has returned as a more widespread form of transport.

In my trip to Pinar del Rio, I made a small series of photographs of so-called “spiders,” small two-wheeled carts, halfway between the Roman chariot and rustic cart.  Without these alternative devices, mobility and trade among many small towns in Cuba would be impossible.   There are hundreds of “species” of these arachnids riding the roads and highways, bringing the most disparate, and often illegal, products.  With wheels from old Soviet trucks, decorated in striking colors, or covered with precarious roofs against rain and sun, all are the fruit of necessity and audacity.  They express the desperation of a population that can not acquire vehicles at any dealership, but that still refuses to halt its march.



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