Poco a Poco
Ernest Hemingway Fishing Base, Cojímar, Havana, Cuba
This work was exhibited at the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba in Havana in April of 2017.
On the outskirts of the small coastal town of Cojímar lies the Ernest Hemingway Fishing Base. The almost 400 men that shape this community have devoted their lives to fishing- “We don’t sleep here but we live here.”
They spend anywhere from six to twelve hours a day out at sea, often departing the base at 10:00 pm to take advantage of the greater possibility of catching fish at night. When they aren’t at sea, they’re on land in the base doing every bit of preparation to get them back out- fixing the boat, untangling lines, cleaning nets, etc.
Although they manage to do their jobs in crews of three or four, the entirety of the base works together. They all identify as fishermen but, like every other Cuban, have other jobs too. A few are the resident mechanics, others carpenters (they build all of their boats by hand), and some butchers who can gut and clean a fish to prepare for selling faster than my camera shutter can go off. Each member of the base contributes in some way other than fishing to keep it running.
Poco a Poco documents the daily routines of the fishermen in the Ernest Hemingway Fishing Base- a unique lifestyle that lies as a mystery to those outside of its community.