Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Chiang Mai
    Posts
    29,325

    Photo of Cubans at Dominoes in Irma Floodwaters Sparks Debate


    In a photo released by Granma, men play dominoes in the middle of a flooded street as others pull broken furniture from calf-high water in the aftermath Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba, Sept. 10, 2017.

    HAVANA
    As Hurricane Irma flooded the working-class neighborhoods behind Havana's seaside Malecon, a photographer for the Cuban Communist Party newspaper watched two men pulling broken furniture out of the calf-high water.


    Nearby four others sat on plastic chairs playing dominoes in the filthy water, which reached halfway up their legs to a makeshift wooden table balanced on their knees. Juvenal Balan snapped a photo and posted it online with a comment declaring it "incredible'' that the four were playing while "others work together to mitigate the damage.''


    Then, something unexpected happened. The photo went viral and ignited a furious and complicated debate about the state of Cuban society.


    Many on the island and in Cuba's sprawling international diaspora saw Sunday's scene as a textbook example of "social indiscipline,'' a commonly heard phrase in the country that's used to bemoan the flouting of prized civic values like cleanliness, politeness and helping one's neighbors.


    But for others the photo symbolized another, equally Cuban quality: good-humored resilience in the face of difficulty, even disaster.


    "What savages!'' one woman wrote on Balan's Facebook page. "Throw them in jail,'' another said.


    A day later the platinum-selling Cuban reggaeton band Gente de Zona had an entirely different spin.


    The band posted Balan's photo on its official Facebook page, cropped to focus on the domino scene and not the men collecting trash, and declared: "Putting a good face on bad times.''


    "The essence of the Cuban spirit is reflected in this photo!'' the band or its social media manager wrote. The cropped image got more than 8,000 likes and drew a similar reception on dozens of other pages aimed at Cubans.


    In Italy, expatriate Cubans spent days arguing about the meaning of the image on an Italian-language chatroom.


    "Cubans on the island and in the diaspora are taking this image and reading all sorts of things into it about contemporary Cuban society,'' said Michael Bustamante, an assistant professor of Latin American history at Florida International University who tweeted about the photo this week. "Some are seeing a sign of social irresponsibility or a symptom of a crisis of morals. [Other] people are seeing the triumph of the Cuban spirit over incredible odds.''


    There were similarly polarized reactions to other images this week of Cubans having fun amid the crisis: women laughing and apparently dancing in knee-high floodwaters, teenage boys diving from an overpass into a flooded tunnel converted into an ad-hoc pool.


    Writer Oscar Sanchez Serra addressed the sociopolitical implications in an essay in the Communist Party newspaper, Granma.


    "Our rich and infinite jokiness is one thing. Indiscipline and irresponsibility is another,'' he wrote. "We must reject the image that craziness and thoughtlessness are part of our nature. ... It is not a joke but rather fuel for mocking us that in the middle of a situation created by Irma's gigantic, devastating impact, in the middle of the Havana streets, submerged to their waists, four men were playing dominoes.''


    Balan told The Associated Press that he was taken by the contrast of people working to clear floodwaters on Aguila Street, four blocks from the Malecon, and the domino players.


    "I'm seeing women with brooms, families trying to get trash out of the water. I see these men on the right trying to collect trash and unblock drains, I imagine,'' Balan said. "And there I see the people playing dominoes, an unusual case not because of the dominoes but because of the moment.''


    If Balan had shown up a little earlier, he would have seen those same men working to unblock drains and clear trash, according to six neighbors interviewed by AP.


    "This was not any kind of indiscipline,'' said Angel Caballero, a 54-year-old construction worker who was playing dominoes but did not appear in the photo. "While some of us were working to try to get the water to go away so it would not rise more and run into our houses, others were taking turns playing.''


    Irma's floodwaters have now receded and the debris has been collected, leaving water-stained walls as practically the only visual reminder of the storm's havoc in Havana. That, and pictures like Balan's.


    Eddy Dennis, a gray-haired 51-year-old parking attendant seen pulling furniture from the water, said what the image showed was neighborly cooperation and mutual effort in the face of Havana's worst flooding in years, if not decades.


    "It was something communal that all the neighbors were doing in the spirit of unity,'' Dennis said. "Those who got tired would sit down and play dominoes. We had spent the whole night on our feet, and it was a way to de-stress in the face of disaster.''


    https://www.voanews.com/a/photo-of-c...-/4034619.html


  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,837
    Yeah, white and Western-raised others just don't get it how the "3rd world" can be so lackadaisical. You have to have been there or have been in similar to know it.

    Waiting for for the challenges from Harry and Cyrille.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Slick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    5,495
    Photo of Cubans at Dominoes in Irma Floodwaters Sparks Debate
    Thread title misleading.

    I thought it was going to be Cubans at Dominoes, like, the pizza place LOL

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 11:33 AM
    Posts
    16,420
    Quote Originally Posted by Slick View Post
    Thread title misleading.

    I thought it was going to be Cubans at Dominoes, like, the pizza place LOL
    Me too.

  5. #5
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 02:47 AM
    Posts
    59,794
    FFS there's not a lot of pointing in cleaning up until the water's subsided.

    More racist wankers venting their spleen over nothing.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    BobR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Last Online
    25-05-2019 @ 12:56 PM
    Posts
    7,760
    Accepting what you cannot change seems like a healthy response to a disaster. Certainly better than trying to assign blame and playing the victim role.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,837
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    FFS there's not a lot of pointing in cleaning up until the water's subsided.

    More racist wankers venting their spleen over nothing.
    Yep. I agree.
    Are you black, Harry?

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
    VocalNeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 01:16 PM
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    11,218
    They probably play routinely at a similar time so when faced with something hey cannot change they simply carry on.

    All the indignation reminds me of the :

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.

    Obviously all the indignant people don't have the wisdom?


    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    fishlocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Last Online
    Today @ 07:32 AM
    Location
    Bungling in the jungle
    Posts
    8,877
    I'm sure they know perfectly well knowone can or will "bail" them out.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Last Online
    26-03-2019 @ 11:28 AM
    Location
    across the street
    Posts
    4,109
    Meanwhile...........


  11. #11
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 11:33 AM
    Posts
    16,420
    On the upside, it is of course possible that there was a grand total of roughly seven 'indignant people'. That's enough to make the 'news' these days.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •