This year is 2015 and this is a re-visit of a photographic journey I took (1995-2005) through the back streets and barrios of Havana, Cuba…where tourists seldom go. This is a very important time period to try to understand as Cuba was emerging from “The Special Period” which was an extended period of a severe economic crisis that began around 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union which at the time supported the economy of Cuba. It affected everyone and every aspect of Cuban life. Havana is a city designed for 1.5 million people then rapidly grew to 3 million people as families moved from the country side to the city in hopes of a better life They only found crowded living in buildings that were unsafe and sharing living spaces with many families while every one tried to get by with what little they had as there were shortages of everything that affected daily life. These are the images from 1995-2005 that are embedded in my heart and mind
These galleries show a glimpse of the life of hardship and sacrifice the Cuban people had to endure. With Cuban persistence, hard work, creativity and Orgullo (Cuban Pride) their lives evolved into a sense of optimism and a future with hope. After 2000 I began to photographed in color…showing bright saturated colors… not because this is about poverty in a colorful third world country or the results of a snap shot approach, but to use color as a beautiful emotional metaphor to complement the narrative of hope with each image. These are memories of how I felt…from the heart.