Susan Bank came upon her subject matter for The Healer and her Campo Adentro project in 2002 while on a weekend retreat from Havana, Cuba to the barrio Cuajaní. For the next five years, she focused on ten households of tobacco farmers and their families, who lived in the Valley of Viñales without the benefit of such modern conveniences as electricity or telephone service.
Beyond revealing the raw simple details of everyday life and the intimate connections of her subjects with their environment, Bank urges us to consider details of their daily life in a wider context than our accustomed way of perceiving them. In such images as The Healer, Bank captures the world appearing beyond the window of her subjects’ darkened interior, prompting a comparison of the two worlds.
Bank currently resides in Philadelphia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A graduate of Barnard College (1960), Bank received her artistic training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and also studied in Mexico with photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Graciela Iturbide and later with Constantine Manos in Havana.