|It's really hard to describe Cuba, but here's my initial take: Imagine the beautiful architecture of a city
like Paris, but even more colorful. Tarnish that with the sort of dilapidation of downtown Detroit after
its hard times and imagine some of it being worse. Then imagine people are still living in most all the
buildings, even when it looks like they are on the verge of collapse. There is great poverty in a lot of
areas like old Havana and then apparent wealth in other areas – a huge disparity of wealth.
I spent many hours walking aimlessly through many sections of Havana with my camera trying to soak
it all in. It was overwhelming and fascinating at the same time.
Each turn down a new street presented a unique and interesting visual - old men playing dominoes,
kids roasting a whole pig in the street, kids playing ball, people dancing in their homes and people
hanging over their balconies watching it all happen. Most doors you walk past on the ground level are
open and give you an intimate perspective into the lives of families living in small spaces.
Photographing people is something I typically avoid, but the people of Cuba are captivating. Even with
all they've been through and continue to go through they are warm and friendly and inviting, often
inviting you into their houses to sit with them.
Despite appearing that Cuba is frozen in time change has come, albeit slowly. People I spoke with say
the change has been big over the past year alone. I tried not to be an 'ugly American' but
unfortunately I was not alone and saw busloads of my fellow Americans, probably being shuttled from
a nearby cruise ship, being bused into tourist areas who did fit that category. It made me feel glad to
be able to go to Cuba before its natural beauty is whitewashed and sterilized in anticipation for the
Western tourists, but I'd go back in a heartbeat.
This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. It captures the essence of one of the most interesting
and unique cities I've ever been to along with its warm and friendly people who are still trapped in a
largely oppressive environment.
|La Lavandería (coming soon)
|With so many photos, the best place to start is with My 30 Favorite Photos from the trip
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