Last week I wrote about the new photo workshop I am teaching in Cuba in the autumn coming up. As a celebratory, little teaser for the workshop itself I thought I’ll show a handful of pictures from one of my longest running photo projects, which incidentally happens to take place in Cuba.
I travelled to Cuba first time in 1991 – after which I have returned for maybe a month every year over the first ten years or so. After the initial ten years or so I have ventured back to Cuba a little less often, maybe every second or third year. But I still enjoy every time I go to Cuba, it’s simply a marvellous place for a photographer. People are open; they like to play along and are generally very hospital. And then there are the colours of Cuba – vibrant, intense and saturated.
The project, which has been my longest running, is a story about a family of farmers living in the beautiful valley of Viñales. I first met Catarina and Miguel, the lovely old couple who were the heads of the family, in 1996. And since then I have follow the life on the farm – seen new members of the family come into being, and seen them pass away, such as Miguel in 2008. Miguel was very dear to me, always smiling and always welcoming me whenever I visited his farm. You see him in the first picture of this post. Catarina on the other hand is a little shyer, but equally friendly – and makes the best food in the valley. She is still alive, but unfortunately becoming quite feeble. Catarina is seen in the second picture. When I first visited Miguel and Catarina’s farm there was neither electricity nor running water, they were poor, but still happy and always positive. Today it’s their sons who have taken over the little farm. A new generation of farmers is now running the farm, situated beautifully on a brink of a lake overlooking the valley.
I still feel like coming to a second family when I visit them in Viñales – as I wrote in the post My Second Family two years ago. And even though the workshops later this year won’t go to Viñales, I hope to be able to spend some time with the family when I go back. The workshop by the way takes place from October 25th to November 2nd.