My SONG IS WITH YOU: “Mi Canto Está Contigo” 1995-2000

This is a photographic journey of life through the back streets and barrios of Havana, Cuba…where tourists seldom go.  Havana was designed for 1 ½ million people but in 1995 it had a population of 3 million which makes the stress of an economic torn city even more difficult to endure. These are the images that are embedded in my emotions and mind as photographed from 1995-2000 in Havana,  It was emerging from a “special period” which was an extended period of economic crisis that began around 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union which at the time supported the economy of Cuba.  This economic depression of the “special period” changed the lifestyle of the Cuban people more than they would ever imagine.  It included a rationing of food resulting in a much less healthy diet and items like milk, toilet paper and gasoline were difficult if not impossible to get.

This began for me an eye opening and heart wrenching journey through the many overcrowded neighborhoods and barrios of Havana, Cuba.  This was the start of a relationship with the people I met in and around Havana which was an unforgettable experience that changed my life forever.  To best describe the feelings I experienced, I photographed in film and toned the black and white prints. The images will be familiar to some of you, bringing up nostalgic feelings of good times and also let’s say feelings of not so good times.  For others this will be a glimpse into a world that on the surface seems so unreal to those who visit there.