the way i see it...images by Cheri Lomonte















about Cuba...

I was on a photography visit to Cuba in the Spring of 2012. I had always wanted to visit Cuba since I saw my Dad's slides of his trip there in 1954. His pictures and stories captured my imagination; years later, my trip wasn't disappointing. Although I was confined in my visit, I still managed to see and photograph a beautiful, stunning, and joyous people. The conditions of the country certainly had changed, and the splendor of an exotic and thriving country of the '50s was now in disrepair.

The splendor of the buildings was now a mass of wires, ropes, and string holding things together. Despite the patchwork and decay, the people were beautiful. As the city decayed, the people themselves became the diamonds: red lipstick, neon lights, and the smooth sound of jazz. Despite the oppression, the resiliency of the Cubans is undeniable. The inner joy of the people is what is celebrated in my pictures. The royalty of the past is now seen in the dignity of the fruit seller, the bicycle man waiting to deliver sheetrock, the secret smile of the flower lady, and the rhythm in the bodega.

My father had visited Havana the young ingénue; the city I saw was an old lady who hadn't cared for herself over the years. That was the reality. What hadn't changed was the beauty and joy of the people.

And the cars? They tell their own story.