'Cuba in Transition'

 HAVANA, CUBA 2015

HAVANA, CUBA 2015

I traveled to Cuba this past summer to work on a documentary that has been in the making for over 15 years. This was my first time visiting the island, and I was, as so many other people, mesmerized by its beauty, by it's people, by it's colors. The phrase I keep using to describe my experience is 'a world of intense contrasts' - Walking on the streets of Santiago the Cuba or Habana, is like being shocked in every dimension: visually, emotionally, culturally, and intellectually. Visually, the buildings architecture is astonishing, giving you a hint of a glorious past, yet they are decaying, and that in contrast with the vivid colors of the cars passing by and the people and their clothes and then topping it off with the beautiful, joyful kids running around is a visual paradise. Yet, I see the poverty, the scarcity, the decaying, yet, I only encounter happy people, who went out of their way to help me make a phone call when I didn't have the right amount of change to use a public phone. Or when I asked if I could photograph their kids, or when we asked for toilet paper while in a public building (toilet paper was not available and those who had some kept it in their purse). Interesting, well versed conversations, with the taxi driver, with the airport attendant and friends we made throughout the days. People are well informed. People were very well educated and savvy. And the coffee! mmmmm. Best coffee I've ever had. Happy people, did I mentioned that? Proud yet humble people. Cuba, I will go back.