Like many, the urge to visit Cuba before the “change” was pulling at me. going to Cuba brought to mind romance and nostalgia. Walking the streets photographing the vintage cars and the time-worn buildings was a recurring thought.
In many ways Cuba did not disappoint. Cubans pride themselves as having the worlds largest car museum . How they manage to keep these classic American cars running is a wonder of the world. The old Spanish buildings were also very fascinating to me. In 2015 Habana celebrated its 500th anniversary. I walked every block of the city of Habana trying to imagine the city in its heyday centuries before the days of Castro. As a photographer I couldn’t get enough of these subjects.
I wanted my visit to Habana to be unhurried. I wanted to concentrate on the city itself and I wanted to allow myself time to talk to the locals and enjoy local culture.
I did accomplish this goal. at first meeting, Cubans are very formal and polite, they sell you the story of how life after the revolution is better. But, after a few days of visiting and earning their trust, the real truth comes out.
The reality is that life in Cuba is still very difficult. The buildings where they live are in very rough and often dangerous condition. they have more freedoms today than say three years ago but Cuba is still a communist country and far behind most countries in this hemisphere.
The Castro revolution did bring much needed change. But as with most countries run by dictators the quality of life for those at the top comes at the expense of their people.
As a photographer my visit to Cuba was incredible but I leave with a heavy heart at the living conditions and the often expressed feeling of hopelessness for a better life.
the worlds largest rolling classic car museum
The Cuban national sport for passing time
Never forget the revolution! You can find a sign reminding you not to dare forget the revolution. Photos of Fidel, Raul or Che are always following you
one day I was walking the neighborhood and saw a home that looked interesting to me. The front door was opened so I just walked in. The owner walked out from a backroom, before he had a chance to ask what I was doing in his home, I asked if I could photograph him....he said sure!
The Sea Wall, the best place to find entertainment in La Habana
from the shoe shop above or a local's bar life is simple