I was immediately intrigued by her look, so calm, sensual and proud. I decided to take a picture of her. The face caressed by the soft light coming from the street. We didn’t talk to each other. We just exchanged a few glances before I took a series of portraits of her. What struck my attention was not only her magnetic eyes, but also the atmosphere, the light and the location which were perfect. I found that the sinuous lines of her posture, as well as the position of her arms, matched up perfectly with the armrests of the chair next to her and with the curtain that is slightly pushed aside.
An old Cuban woman in her crumbling apartment in Old Havana, in a building between Plaza de la Cathedral and Prado. She was living in another building which fell down some years ago when the State moved her here with her family. She accepted to live here even though the building is collapsing because the accommodation was for free. Whenever it rains, water is pouring inside the apartment. She hopes that some private investor will offer her money to buy her apartment, to renovate the building and transfer it in a luxury guest house for tourist, as well as the building in front of her house. The picture is not staged.
A Cuban child sitting on his grandparent’s bed in their apartment between Calle Lamparilla and Calle Compostela, Old Havana. He lives in an overcrowded dilapidated apartment with all his family: grandparents, parents and siblings. The building, once in Art Deco Style, is now collapsing. He is posing for the portrait.
An old Cuban woman in her dilapidated apartment in Old Havana. She moved from Holguin to Havana in 1959 after the victory of Cuban Revolution, following her husband who was one of the captain of Fidel Castro’s army. In 1959 the building where she lives was one of the most important and beautiful building of Old Havana, facing the Prado Boulevard. Since then, the building has never been renovated nor maintained and now it is running-down. She is posing for the picture while she is telling me her story.
A Cuban woman in her dilapidated apartment in Old Havana. The apartment is built on the roof terrace of a building facing Parque Central, one of the most touristic attraction in Old Havana. Here The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, a luxury 5 stars hotel, has just been inaugurated (May-June 2017). To have more space in the apartment, the internal structure has been changed, building a mezzanine where her son sleeps. She is posing for the portrait.
A Cuban man sit on a chair in his house in Trinidad
A girl portrayed in her aunt’s house in Trinidad. She lives with her family in a rural area in the outskirt of Trinidad. She comes here only few times a year in special occasions. She was there with her older sister to buy some goods at the local market.
A Cuban farmer in his simple wooden house in the outskirt of Santa Clara.
A Cuban girl in her home in Old Havana. She lives a very small apartment at the second floor of a crumbling building facing the famous and glamorous Prado Boulevard, where in 2016 Chanel held its Fashion Show. The building is surrounded by luxury hotels newly built to accommodate the increasing flux of tourists. She is engaged with an Italian man and she is waiting to marry him to move away. She is posing for the picture while she is telling me her story.
An old Cuban woman in the kitchen of her apartment in Old Havana. She lives at the ground floor, in a courtyard of a Colonial building, which was once a Villa of a Cuban nobleman. For this reason the whole building is considered the cultural heritage of the city and can not be sold or renovated privately. The state does not have the money to renovate it and the building falls apart. She is retired and perceives 15$ a month, in order to earn some extra money, she sells peanuts to tourists in the streets of her house in Old Havana. She is posing for the portrait.
An old Cuban farmer in small village close to Cienfuegos. He has lived all his life in this place working the land.
A Cuban woman in front of her apartment in Old Havana, facing the Prado Boulevard. She is doing her laundry in a common area on the ground floor of the building. In the foreground of the pictures are visible some poles used to support the building so that it does not collapse. The picture is not staged.
A young Cuban girl in the apartment of her grandmother where she lives with her family and sibling. The grandmother is an old acknowledged Santera from Guantanamo. The apartment is at the top floor of a collapsing building in the heart of Old Havana. She is posing for the portrait.
A young Cuban guy in his apartment in old Havana, close to Plaza Vieja. He lives in a small crumbling apartment with his parents, and the family of his 3 brothers. The apartment is completely without windows and they live using only artificial light. To have more room and more privacy they have changed the internal structure of the apartment, building a mezzanine. Due to the lack of windows, they hang their laundry inside the house. Here they also run their business as barber. He is posing for the portrait.
Hanging on the wall the portrait of the daughter of the tenants of this small crumbling apartment in Old Havana, near Parque Central. The girl portrayed here moved to Miami, USA, looking for a better life. The picture is not staged.