From Hungarian Cubes
In Hungarian Cubes, Roters documents those countryside row houses during Kádár’s reign, after residents started freewheeling with colors and shapes to make it so no two houses looked like. Roters noticed the painted “Magyar Kocka”, or Hungarian Cube, houses in 2003 after moving from Germany to a small Hungarian town. Some of the homes have trompe l’oeil paintings around the window, like facsimiles of shutters or trimming. Others look like abstracted images of sun rays, or harvested crops.
“Today you can buy a car you like, you can do everything you like. In this uniform world where people were not allowed to have some individuality, you had to wait for the same car as your neighbor,” Roters says. “The facade is what I can show to the outside to the world. This was a free space at this time where the people can show and express their individuality.”
Roters has spent years photographing the Magyar Kocka houses. She’s met some of the original owners, but also is watching as the Cube houses undergo renovations and new paint jobs. “The intellectual elite in Hungary they hate the kind of housing and the period and the ornamental decoration,” Roters says. InHungarian Cubes, she writes: “In the eyes of the rural population, these houses are simply no longer up-to-date and are therefore…these witnesses to a way of life are slowly but surely disappearing.” The houses are a relic of some rare individualism during a time of homogeneous, community-centric thinking. (by Margaret Rhodes)
Hungarian Cubes is available here, through Park Books.
Rich and Poor
1. USA. San Francisco, California. 1977. “My life is personal, but I will tell you one thing I’m too fat.”
2. USA. San Francisco. 1977. “Now I see a way out to a decent future. I’m tired of this shit, drugs and pimping and all that stuff. Maybe now I have the courage to do something - anything. I don’t know, we will see. Jim, Thanks. (P.S) I love you.”
3. USA. San Francisco. 1978. “To me life seems so messed up but little by little I am trying to over come that. Because it is hard being a woman and to accept me as I am.”
4. USA. San Francisco. 1977. “I love the picture. I am a homosexual. May be if I send one of the pictures you gave me, Jim, to my nephew he will understand how hard his uncle is struggling.”
5. USA. San Francisco. 1984. “It’s kind of stinky living in this hotel. I don’t have nothing only $10. I keep waiting for someone to come in my door and give me money but nobody ever will.”
6. USA. San Francisco, California. 1983. “My face shows the intensity of a pained woman. I’ve been mugged and beaten. I didn’t ask for this mess. This makes me look like a bum - I am not. I am fantastic Dorothy, a popular personality. The nicest person in the hotel.”
7. USA. San Francisco, California. 1979. “My name is Judy and I am 11 years old.
I like the picture. My mom looks like she angry. I don’t like the way I look because I look pregnat. My favorite thing is to play with boys.”
8. USA. San Francisco. 1983. “We look like ordinary people! We have a terrible life.”
Empire: A Personal History of British Domination
1. The Falkland Islands are home to approximately 600,000 sheep.
2. German tourists, Gnome Garden, Stanley, Falkland Islands.
3. The Victory was the first pub to have a CD jukebox in Stanley, a feature that arrived in 1991.
4. Edinburgh of the Seven Seas (known locally as “The Settlement”).
5. Opening hours are limited, and supplies are reliant upon ships arriving from Cape Town.
6. There are seven surnames on the island. These five boys share just two of them.
7. Pyramid Point. Used by NASA for testing moon buggies in 1971.
8. The First Garrison, Green Mountain.
9. Sunday Best. Lesley Williams and his wife Beatrice attend the Sandy Bay Baptist Chapel Sunday morning service each week.
10. St Helena Day 2013, Jamestown. Each year St Helena Day is marked on May 21, celebrating the day of the island’s discovery.
Book on Navigation, Late 17th century-early 18th century
Ink and pigments on laid European paper bound between boards covered with red leather with gold.
Cuba Then (Monacelli Press) features some 260 images from the Ramiro A. Fernández Collection of more than 4000 photographs of Cuba dating back to the late 1800s. It is a sequel to I Was Cuba(Chronicle Books), which in 2007 offered a first selection of similar images from Fernández’s in-depth and often intriguing holdings. A New York-based former photo editor for various Time, Inc. magazines (Entertainment Weekly, People, People en Español) and current contributing photo editor of Americas Quarterly, Fernández emigrated from his native Cuba to Florida with his mother, sister and 22 pieces of luggage when he was eight years old. That was in 1960, shortly after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship-crushing political revolution.
1. Annemarie Heinrich, The Lecuona Cuban Boys on tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1940-1941), silver print, 8 x 10 inches. This was a popular Cuban orchestra, which toured the world extensively during the 1930s and 1940s. It was founded and promoted by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona (all photographs courtesy The Monacelli Press unless stated otherwise)
2. Photographer unknown, an unidentified Cuban youth takes part in a voluntary security detail outside the Habana Hilton as curious onlookers edge in for a glimpse of Fidel Castro, who had moved into the hotel for a while (January 1959), silver print, 5 x 7 inches.
3. Photographer unknown – World Wide Photos, unidentified performer in a Cuban-operated circus carrying an anaconda (non-indigenous) snake in Camagüey, Cuba (circa 1942), silver print, 8 x 10 inches.
4. Photographer unknown, the actor Alec Guinness in the Old Havana section of the Cuban capital, seen here in a publicity still from the movie, “Our Man in Havana.” The movie was an of the British author Graham Greene’s 1958 novel. This Columbia Pictures motion picture was the last Hollywood-scale production carried out in Havana before relations between the United States and Cuba were severed (1959), silver print, 8 x 10 inches (courtesy of Columbia Pictures)
5. Photographer unknown, Passengers on a municipal bus (known as a “guagua” in Cuban Spanish), Havana (1954), silver print, 8 x 10 inches
6. Panama Pacific Line, Morro Castle, situated at the entrance to Havana Harbor, viewed from the port side under misty conditions (circa 1925), silver print, 8 x 10 inches
7. Photographer unknown, a rain-soaked crowd during a storm on Havana’s gulf-side avenue and promenade, the Malecón, with a view toward the east (circa 1935), silver print, 8 x 10 inches
Cuba Then (2014) is published by The Monacelli Press.