"I want to see Cuba before everything changes."
Since travel restrictions from the States to the Republic of Cuba were relaxed in early 2015, this is a sentiment I’ve heard a lot. Cuba is a place outsiders project their ideas and fantasies on, fetishizing the pace and the aesthetics of a place frozen in time. But the American embargo on the country was a large contributor to creating this illusion of a time warp. What does that say about the world we’ve created in the U.S. if we’re romanticizing a place symbolically shackled to relics of the past?
This will be my sixth trip to the island. Since my very first, it’s been a mission of mine to show a deeper, more authentic depiction of life in the country. I’ve traveled the length of the island from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, spending twelve to fifteen hours each day wandering the streets, meeting people and photographing them. Cuban society is one that’s lived out in the streets — that’s where life happens for this spirited population.