In The Footsteps Of Walker Evans, 80 Years Later

A People to People Cultural Exchange in Cuba

Under the Auspices and OFAC License of Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

A Unique Journey To Experience, Reinterpret And Rephotograph The Work Of Walker Evans….

 Walker Evans, Self Portrait. 1936-1941 © Walker Evans Archive, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Walker Evans, Self Portrait. 1936-1941 © Walker Evans Archive, Metropolitan Museum of Art

In his first commissioned body of work as a photographer (three years before he travelled to Hale County, Alabama, to complete the seminal depression era work for Roy Stryker at the Farm Security Administration and the collaboration with James Agee that led to the wonderful book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), Walker Evans travelled to Cuba in 1933 to document the conditions of the Machado regime for Carleton Beal’s book The Crime of Cuba. In the past 80 years, some things have changed on this beautiful island a mere 35 minutes by airplane from Miami (e.g. literacy rates, health care system, the form of government), while many other things have remained the same (e.g. the warm-hearted Cuban people, the colonial architecture in Havana and the thatched roof barns of Viñales and Trinidad, the love of baseball, boxing, cigars, dominoes).

While only time will tell, keen observers suggest that “things” in Cuba are now on the cusp of dramatic change, and the destiny of the longtime friendship of two groups of people who share a great deal in common hangs in the balance. For the Cuban people and the American people appear to share much affection for each other as well as sharing many traditions (i.e. baseball, boxing, and 1950s Chevrolets), even if the respective governments have not been able to get on the same page, for perhaps understandable reasons. So, it just may truly be one of those “once in a lifetime” opportunities to observe and document an important chapter for a country where time has stood still in some domains, while the hearts and warmth of the people has advanced.

 The U.S. crew overlooking the beautiful Viñales valley.  

The U.S. crew overlooking the beautiful Viñales valley.  

In November 2014, just two weeks before President Barack Obama normalized relations with Cuba, a group of professional and amateur photographers -- Cuban and American alike -- retraced the steps of renowned documentary photographer Walker Evans. Their work is contains in this website and we invite you to enjoy it along with the related documentary film of the project. We are eager for your feedback and thoughts on whether we have (re)captured Cuba then and now as it enters an important period in its history.

 

 

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