The Backstage Of Cuba

I have been visiting Cuba, several times per year, during the last 12 years and came to the conclusion that avoiding the “cliché” was an impossible expectation .. If you can’t fight the enemy…

Many years from now, when my interest in photography started, imagines of an old Cuba that was frozen in the 1930’s in the ‘20’s have always intrigued me: the American cars, the palaces, the magnificent avenues. All is still there. Falling apart, but surviving against all odds: a destroyed, half abandoned palace at the centre of old Havana.

An old and devastated American car strives to find customers in Parque Central. Havana makes you feel as if you are sharing those iconic scenes with Frank Sinatra or Bogart, muttering ‘play again Sam.’

The inescapable old American car, the red door. The Cuban flag. There are all sorts of cars, quite old, but shiny and classy, at least on the outside. It’s like being immersed in a 1950’s movie. The excitement reaches new heights once inside the car. Usually it nearly falls to pieces.

A Cuban barber — one of the most photogenic opportunities in Cuba. You can find quite a few of them dotted around any given town, even more now that private business is flourishing. Shop looks like it was put together from some mix of African, Latin and European styles

Cuba imagery has become a commonplace. “My” Cuba is a weird place, where old meets new, where a disconnected (from the world) population struggles to meet the needs of the “new” market.

Mixtures of colors and grotesque mishmash where all goes together in an archaic and extemporary aesthetics. A glimpse of Spanish colonial style, the elegant houses of Vedado, an old man sitting on his old wooden arm chair smoking his cigar. – his is Cuba.

Harry Fisch has been photographing Cuba for the last 12 years. Spanish / English bilingual he enjoys a very special access to Cuban culture and surprising photographic opportunities.

His Cuba Photo Tours are a mix of spontaneous photography, carefully set photo sessions and a broad experience in people photography in diverse cultures.

A leader of photo tours to exotic destinations with his company Nomad Photo Expeditions, his work has deserved several international awards: Winner of the 2012 World National Geographic Photo Contest (and later disqualified due to erasing a plastic bag) and finalist in 2010 in Photoespaña—possibly the most prestigious Spanish photographic contest.

Two Jury Awards in 2014 at the Grand Prix de la Découverte, France, finalist in the Sony 2012 World Photo Awards,

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

1 Comment on The Backstage Of Cuba

  1. Excellent article and excellent photographs. Harry is a great photographer and I know well the professionalism and quality of the photo tours he does in Cuba. A country that is a paradise for photographers but without proper tutoring one may not find the best reasons to photograph.
    Harry’s photo tours ensure working in depth in Cuba and discover not only photography, culture, gastronomy, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.