About this project
Cuba: Branded is a visual exploration of Cuba through the lens of branding. The final product will be a book of photographs that will give the reader an idea of what daily life in Cuba is like.
As an American-born Cuban I grew up surrounded and influenced by brands before I could even articulate what a brand was. From the cereal we eat to the cars we drive our lives can be roughly described through the brands we prefer. Coke or Pepsi. Cubs or Sox. Democrat or Republican.
My plan is to document Cuban life through these very broad brand categories. It’s a chance to look at Cuba in a way that has not been done before — through branding. I’ve taken a few sample photographs around Chicago (as well as some stock photos of Cuba) to give you an idea for the layout of the book.
Cuba is in a very special time in its history. Changes are slowly starting to happen. Bigger changes are bound to come, as inevitable as death. I want to capture ordinary Cuban life before the end of this era. I want to talk to Cubans about what life has been like under Castro and document it before it becomes history.
When the inevitable happens, the US will be called upon, or feel compelled to act but first we need to educate ourselves about the island we’ve been forbidden to visit. We need to see what the reality on the ground is so that we can act appropriately. My part in this is small, but with your help it can be a step towards better understanding.
My cousin Anabel was raised on the island. The thought of her always fascinated me because she was living my parallel life in Cuba and I was living hers here. When I was admonished to finish everything on my plate because there were hungry children, it was Anabel. When I was reminded to be grateful for awful tasting medicine because others were going without, it was Anabel.
To me, she is the face of Cuban life. While I’m there I’ll spend time with her and talk to her about what choices she’s able to make and see how they compare to my life. I’m betting that because we’re family she’ll trust me enough to give me honest answers and not the propaganda Cubans are taught to give to tourists. Hopefully this will lead to truths that most American travelers would not discover.
How To Pledge
Thank you so much for taking the time to consider this Kickstarter. For those of you new to Kickstarter, pledging is super easy through Amazon If you’ve ever purchased anything from Amazon you already have an account.
If not, setting one up is quick and painless. Just click the Pledge button and the site will walk you through the steps. Pledges to this project must be made through this site. Please do not send money to me directly.
If you’re not sure how much you want to pledge, start by pledging a dollar. You can always change it later and this will make sure you don’t miss out. Also pledging now will allow you to receive updates on the project. Your account will not be charged until the end of the pledging cycle March 17.
Thanks again for helping to make this a reality.
Funding will help defray the cost of the flight and will allow me to make purchases necessary for documentation. Any funds above the requested amount will help with better equipment, additional pages in the book or a longer stay.
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