HumansofHavana.com is a photoblog about Cuban people with the same aspirations as the hugely popular HumansofNewYork.com (HONY).
Everyone has a story. And in Cuba’s case, a whole country has a story to tell that is like no other. The coming years will reveal a lot of visuals and narratives awaiting connection with a broader audience. The creators of the photoblog (the Cuba Journal) wanted an alternative to the endless stream of antique American cars and instead want to chronicle the “change generation” in Cuba that is unbound by age. The site is not political. It’s simply about Cuban people.
The format follows HONY almost exactly. Candid images combined with short text narratives to add a little bit of context. Subjects reveal a little about themselves, which reveals a little about the city – and perhaps, collectively, a little about our common humanity.
What can you find on Humans of Havana? We’re trying to capture the narrative of the Cuban people as they transition from a closed society to an open one. Our Cuban photographer has been given minimal instruction beyond capturing a true sense of what ordinary Cubans are doing and saying on the street. Hopefully, the collection of images and stories will allow site visitors to step into the shoes of a typical Cuban and catch a glimpse of an experience that may be different from their own and also learn something about how connected we are despite our differences.
“The most beautiful thing that has happened to me so far in life is this girl, who is my wife now. She came from Finland one day and…it was love at first site, believe me. Thanks to that I had the chance to know Finland. I actually lived there for some time. I have to mention that I deeply liked the salmon and the black bread and the landscape… but I have to say that I found there a lot of things which I hated with all my heart and spirit. At some point I realized that I had to come back. I am an artist, and I need my family, my friends, our traditions, the hot weather, the Cuban music… for creating. I can’t live without painting, and that’s a fact…. Right now I live in Cuba and my wife lives here with me. I’m quite sure that’s not gonna change again.”
This is the real way we Cubans celebrate the end of the year: the entire family get together at home and we roast a pork in the backyard, like this. “We enjoy the process of roasting of the pork very much. Meanwhile, we drink a lot, we talk, we make jokes, kids play around… It’s the tradition.”
“I feel very grateful to this machine. All these years I’ve earned the money I need to live thanks to it. I guess I should also give thanks to my father, who taught me how to work with this.”
“I studied painting when I was younger, and that’s what I do. I’m an artist. But the fun part goes away when you have to sell your paintings for a living, and more, when you don’t have the possibility to travel and look for a good gallery that gives the value your work deserves, and in consequence, you have to sell your paintings for less than what they really cost. You have to do it for your own survival. That’s why sometimes I get sick of it. But what else can I do? I have to go back and keep on working. It’s hard to make a living from painting. Everybody knows that.”
see more at HumansofHavana.com