In the spring of 2015, I spent nine days in Havana. In this pedestrian-friendly city, I discovered a great deal of beauty. Though the Castros cast their spell over the communist island, the trade embargo is still in place, and democracy is a long way off, there are glimmers of hope, now that diplomatic relations have been reestablished. My images preserve this dynamic moment in history. 

I have always admired the famous German photography duo, the Bechers, known for their taxonomies of obsolete industrial structures, and their intense scrutiny of a handful of pre-determined themes. My themes arose as I traveled, interacting with the people while absorbing the energy of streets in a constant state of flux, visual evidence of improvised structures everywhere, as the people continually make-do with what’s available. 

I have ten categories, typologies of serial imagery.  They are: People, Color, Textures, Animals, Street Life, Facades, Stairs, Doors, Infrastructure, and Urban Decay.  Among my favorites are the pictures that form abstract compositions. 

Personally discovering these visual archetypes through the process of seeing photographically --- was for me a revelation on a path to self-awareness, a kind of mystical experience for which digital photography provides a supple medium, and Cuba, a cornucopia of surprises.

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All content copyright Carolyn Joy Strauss

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