The Soul of Cuba," is a large hardcover book featuring more than 100 powerful photographs taken in Cuba.
About "The Soul of Cuba"
After 20 years in exile, I returned to my native country of Cuba to create "The Soul of Cuba," a large hardcover book featuring more than 100 powerful photographs taken in the Caribbean island. I learned my craft in the capital city of Havana but, after having my work repeatedly censored, I left my homeland shortly after earning my university degree. I arranged for post-graduate work in Moscow and requested political asylum in Ireland during my flight’s lay-over.
Cuba has been the place of my dreams and nightmares for the last 20 years. It was a beautiful prison from which I escaped. It is the most enduring pain, to be able only to imagine the place were you were born, where you were first loved, as a faded and decaying paradise. I knew I would not be capable of making "postcards" or travelogue photos, because that is not how I see Cuba. I make this visual statement clear by my choice of an opening photo: the weather-beaten wooden door of a turn-of-the-century limestone building with the word "Paraiso" chiseled above the doorway.
I debated over returning to the island, in part because of the controversy that exists around Cuba, but also because of a fear of how I might find the economically challenged nation. Contrary to what I expected, Cuba still has a vibrancy that impressed me more than the decrepit buildings or the relatively sparsely stocked stores. Everywhere I looked, people were renovating their homes and opening micro businesses. In fact, I confess that I hardly recognized some of the most familiar places, like my old neighborhood.
The images in this book, captured through the lens of a native son, reflect the bitter and the sweet of the realization that you can't go home again but you can find a new appreciation for an old love. Without succumbing to easy nostalgia, some photos are beautifully poignant while others show the energy and determination of a people who are not just surviving but thriving, on their own terms.
The Soul of Cuba
Hardcover: 172 pages
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I came back from Cuba with hundreds of wonderful photographs and immediately started working on the design and layout of the book. Once completed, I put the book for sale on my website www.cesarshots.com and was flooded with orders. I then started printing these books through a Production on Demand company but soon realized that, not only was I not making money but actually loosing money since the price of printing books on demand is so high, especially for a 12x12 Full Color, Hardcover book. That's why I’m asking for your contributions to help tell our story to the world. They will all go towards production costs, by which I mean proofing, printing, and shipping from a printing company in China.
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