Corey Phillips Fowler
Photographing Cuba as an American has given me a different perspective than a native. My generation in the United States has this romanticized notion of Cuba influenced by famously good cigars, rum, incredible music and the cars. (That romantic notion is dispelled fairly quickly upon arrival in Cuba.)
The first time visiting Cuba, I spent many hours on a bus observing a new land with frustratingly little ability to stop and see more than the surface. That experience left me with the desire to return and dig deeper.
I have returned five times in the last 24 months, and I will be returning again at least once in 2017. Having lived in an urban environment for over 30 years and having spent my childhood in rural Virginia and North Carolina, each time I go back to Cuba I am able to see connections to the environment I did and do inhabit with that of Cuba. Pride in accomplishments, the joy of children, the challenges of hard work in a country largely dependent on agriculture and the challenges of going from that life to the urban grit of living in a city – these similarities resonate universally and timelessly.
The most important goal for this project is that the images reflect the dignity of the subjects within their environment. I believe that goal was achieved. We share a commonality of universal connections that is conveyed simply through the images – no further explanation necessary.
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