The larger picture of Cuba that could be gleaned from our collection of photo books is limited by circumstances: the long-term sanctions against trade with Cuba by the United States and the cultural politics generated during the Cold War; and since the “end of history” as per Francis Fukuyama in 1989, referring to the collapse of the Soviet Union, we have to contend with the hybrid mappings of Cuba by the First World as an exotic theme park of old cars, great music, and an oppressed but sensual populace, stuck in a now impossible past.
The library keeps on giving and a ‘new’ book often emerges from the open and accessible stacks. This is a wonderful booklet from a Venezuelan gallery/publisher Fototeca from May 1978 with work from the extraordinary photographer Luc Chessex. The book is designed by the enigmatic designer Alvaro Sotillo (the designer of the classic Retromundo by… Continue reading Luc Chessex
Cuba is a hard place to capture: in words, in art, and in photographs. As a student studying at la Universidad de la Habana for four months, I know from experience. When I came back, nobody seemed to understand or respond to my own photographs except for the people who lived with me. I think… Continue reading Cuba on the Verge