Falling to Pieces
Cuba is falling apart. I went all across the country, saw it from the ground level, at low speeds, and the vast majority of the country is on the verge of collapse. This image is of an Olympic-quality swimming facility in Holguin that sits empty and unused. I saawa bunch of other places just like this is different cities across the country. There are simply not enough resources to keep it open, just as there are not enough resources to paint the houses and maintain basic upkeep on the majority of buildings. Some of the towns I went through, a lot in fact, I thought ‘Man, I would have loved to have seen this place 70 years ago.’ For a photographer it’s a unique chance to capture something once beautiful in obvious decline.
In the mountains in the east, near Baracoa, there are large populations of people living in squalor like I had never seen. Thatched roofs, no windows, dirt floors. I know there are worse places in the world, but I’ve never been to them so this was a shocker. Through it all the Cubans seemed resolutely positive, which may account for why they still live as they do. It was all so foreign to an American, on every level, I still cannot make sense of large chunks of the experience.
I spent all day shooting today for a magazine and man am I tired. I leave Sunday for the Colavita training camp in Napa. I’ve never been this busy, but I suppose better busy than not.