Thomas Lehner -Los Refrigeradores - Hot nights, cold fridges


Cuba on ice ? Naturally it´s served in cocktails at the beach bar ? But for the island's residents, keeping things in a cold, solid state is a matter of survival and constitutes a daily struggle. The Chinese brand Haier is dominant in Cuba. In the 1920s, a refrigerator factory was built in Qingdao, China to supply the Chinese market. In 2006 Haier shipped 300,000 fridges to the island.

The units are being made available to Cuban families by the government at subsidised prices. The refrigerators are passed down from one generation to another, caressingly maintained and restored. They are central to the household and confront their owners with the energy woes of a land that finds itself isolated at the end of the Cold War, no longer able to trade sugar for oil: Ice is civilisation.