About this project
Your backing of Isla will help me achieve the long-awaited dream of completing a very important story in my life. It has taken me 14 years of living in Cuba and eight years of editing, sequencing, and fundraising, among many other things, to bring this body of work to completion.
In exchange for your support, you will be able to obtain, among several rewards, some rare and out-of-prints catalogs and books published from early in my career as well as fine prints of my Cuban work.
Isla represents the last part of this unexpected photographic personal journey. It is the ultimate expression of love affair and a final goodbye to the island that I loved so much and that completely changed my life.
Water recurs in my images like the sea-water crushing against the Malecòn as a somber reminder that Cubans are still stifled by the lack of a future: the lack of freedom.
While living and working in Cuba for fourteen years, I was simply taking pictures. It never occurred to me that one day different bodies of work would turn slowly into separate books creating a visual and compelling trilogy about my Cuban days.
My pictures are as much about the Cubans and how I felt about them, as they are about me and my life there. They are personal.
In 2001, I began going out with three cameras: one around my neck with color, and two strapped around my shoulders with black-and-white. With the panoramic camera, I started taking landscapes, interiors, street scenes, portraits, and even still lifes with it.
I returned to my farmer friends Fidel and Juana Margarita's to continue photographing their life. I also took pictures of the army, some factories, dilapidated mills where workers and machinery sat idle next to banners quietly uttering empty slogans. I simply got lost and continued to take pictures. I kept photographing the sacredness of life in its myriad forms.
These photographs are probably the most gentle, meditative, and metaphysical that I’ve ever taken. Many of the images get more under the skin: subtler, sweeter, and harsher at the same time. My subjects seem to contemplate their own fate and their own mortality as I ponder mine; the photos ask questions that sometimes get answered. Some of the pictures make you wonder if Cubans infinite waiting will finally find respite.
BazanPhotos' philosophy on self-publishing
After my family and I were forced out of the island on the 4th of July of 2006, I finally realized that only by self–publishing, I could maintain the full integrity of each image and each word in my books.
I strongly believe that having created BazanPhotos publishing has been a major revelation in my life. Its goal is to self-publish both some of my work and some of my best students’ photographs in the years to come.
For my first Cuban book, I got 50 of my students involved. They helped me with editing and sequencing, designing the book, creating the cover. Bazan Cuba was self-published in 2008.
The book has received many blessings including the privilege of winning the Best Book Of the Year award at the New York Photo festival in 2009. The rest is history!
Al Campo followed, and it was, again, self-published by my students and I, in 2011. And then, one day, in 2012, I rediscovered my black-and-white panoramic images by opening an old box of prints. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I immediately shared them with my students. They all encouraged me to follow this new path.
After more than two years of intense editing and sequencing with many of them, we are now getting close to bring Isla, the final chapter of this unimaginable trilogy, to light.
Due to its oversize format, the use of a very beautiful German paper, and printing it in tritone to do justice to the amazing tonal range of the negatives, Isla will be the most expensive book that I’ve produced to date.
Please take a look at the teaser by clicking on the link below
The more I live, the more I photograph and teach, the more I feel that the more generous we are with our fellow beings the more blessings we will get back.
The special and unique relation that I've built with my students over a 13-year period is the confirmation of that. Life is all about helping create nurturing communities. Kickstarter is a good example of that: It has proven that we can turn our dreams into shining realities if we all reach out and share.
With your contribution, we will create an exciting visual book that will finally put to rest one of the most important periods in my life!
With your generosity, I hope to bring Isla, the last chapter of my Cuban trilogy, to shore. EB
Isla: 83 black-and-white panoramic photographs by Ernesto Bazan
Text: Cuba in Three Acts: A conversation with Ernesto Bazan by Marlaine Glicksman
Hardcover: 192 pages
Size: 17-by-10 inches 42-by-24 cm
Printing specifications: tritones printing on Phoneix Motion Santur 150gr paper
Book designers: Kevin Sweeney, Juan de la Cruz and Ernesto Bazan
Text editor: Mark Caceres
Publication date: spring, 2014
Along with the other rewards listed in the pledge column, supporters at the following levels will receive the following books and prints:
$60 or more - A signed copy of The First Twenty Years
BOOKS & CATALOGS
The first comprehensive show of my career encompassing early work from Sicily, Morocco, Tunisia all the way to the early Cuban images. Texts both in English and Italian by my mother Letizia Russo Bazan, Italian writer Roberto Alaimo and Venezuelan writer Euridice Arriata
$80 or more - A signed copy of Al Campo
$100 or more - A signed copy of Bazan Cuba
Bazan Cuba in Spanish and Italian: $100 USD each
Bazan Cuba in English, rare: $170 USD each
$270 or more - A signed copy of my first out-of print book The Perpetual Past or of my second out-of-print book Passing Through
The Perpetual Past, my first book, out-of-print, (1983, Novecento, Palermo, Italy)
Passing Through, my second book, out-of-print (1992, Peliti Associati, Rome, Italy)
LIMITED EDITIONS BOOKS
$1,200 or more - A limited edition signed and numbered copy of your choice of
Each of the three Isla Limited Editions books are limited to 50 sets each. Image size: 10-by-12 inch (32-by-24cm)
$1,200 or more - A signed copy of your choice of
Each of the three Bazan Cuba Limited Editions books are limited to 100 sets each. Image size: 9.4X11.8 inches (23X30 cm) Each copy sells for $1,200 USD
$1,100 or more - A limited edition signed and numbered copy of your choice of
The two Al Campo Limited Editions books are limited to 50 sets each. Image size: 10-by-14 inch (25-by-35cm) Each copy sells for $1,100 USD
Please note that there are three different types of prints being offered:
$600 or more - A signed print of your choice of
DIGITALLY PRINTED C-PRINTS
1) 8-by-10 inch digital C-prints printed by my personal printer on archival color photographic paper.
You have a choice of four images from Al Campo.
$400 or more - A signed print of your choice of
DIGITAL GELATIN SILVER FIBER PRINTS
1) Your choice of one signed 8-by-10-inch fine art digital gelatin silver fiber print of one of the selected 10 images from Isla. Please see below. Each prints will be printed by Ernesto Bazan's personal digital printer.
$700 or more - A signed print of your choice of
2) your choice of one signed 11-by-14-inch fine art digital gelatin silver fiber print of one of the selected 10 images from Isla. Please see below. Each prints will be printed by Ernesto Bazan's personal digital printer.
GELATIN SILVER FIBER PRINTS
$1,500 or more - A signed print of your choice of
1) An 11-by-14 inch b&w silver gelatin fiber print (signed and dated) of one of the selected 10 images from Isla. Please see below. Each print has been manually printed in a wet darkroom by Ernesto Bazan's personal printer.
$1,800 or more - A signed print of your choice of
2) A 16-by-20 inch b&w silver gelatin fiber print (signed and dated) of one of the selected 10 images from Isla. Please see below. Each print has been manually printed in a wet darkroom by Ernesto Bazan's personal printer.
$2,000 or more - A signed print of your choice of
3) A 20-by-24 inch b&w silver gelatin fiber print (signed and dated) of one of the selected 10 images from Isla. Please see below. Each print has been manually printed in a wet darkroom by Ernesto Bazan's personal printer.
ISLA'S 10 CHOICES FOR YOUR PRINT
Risks and challenges
Due to the highest quality production and large panoramic format of Isla, it will have a high production and shipping cost. Considering the two previous successful self-publishing experiences with Bazan Cuba and Al Campo, we feel very confident that we will manage to raise the remaining funds needed to self-publish Isla. While the printing and design costs are almost covered, there are other expenses like shipping, duties, transportation and marketing, etc. that will be needed. I would not leave room for doubt that Isla will be printed. It will be printed. This is an opportunity to be part of the trilogy, and collect some rare and limited edition books and prints.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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