Human Journey

Cuba: Memories Intertwined

This post is the last in the Click! Click! Click! Series which profiles interesting photographic moments that Kike captures during his travels.

Since 1999 I have been working on a photographic project documenting the daily life and changes of Cuba. As a Spaniard, I benefited from the unique bonds both countries have shared  for many years. I discovered the warm hearts of Cubans during on one of my early trips, when the island was still struggling with the end of the ¨special period ¨ after the soviets left. As a curious young photographer I drove across the island, reaching far away places like the Guanacabibes Peninsula. Not always shooting, sometimes I was just closely absorbing the culture and their friendship. A bodega called my attention. A woman with a gracefully arranged head wrap was giving out loaves of bread upon checking ration cards at the window. Without a ration card, and looking at bread that could not be bought, I stood there, remembering some of the stories my grandmother Regla had shared with us about the Spanish Civil war. With no words exchanged, she extended her arm and handed me a loaf of bread.

 

Cuba has given me wonderful moments of joy and self-reflection. My work as a National Geographic Expert on multiple expeditions has allowed me to perceive the big and small changes this country has gone through. Last January, I published an article on the National Geographic Blog called Memories intertwined: Revisiting David Alan Harvey´s Trinidad (Cuba), parts of which I am highlighting at the end of this post.

What the future will bring to Cuba is uncertain. The possibilities are many. For those who will rush to discover Cuba in the coming weeks, months or years. For those who may venture to Cuba for business  in the coming weeks, months or years. Remember, Cuba is a jewel, as much for its architecture, its music and its culture, as for its people, its folklore and its history. There is a story behind every smile and wrinkle you will find.  Dig in and the most novelesque misfortunes may arise. Dig-in and contagious sheer happiness may arise.
Time will tell what the US-Cuba policy will grant both sides. What Cuba has granted me is an immersion into a field of dream-pursuits that has influenced my understanding of photography, story telling and life.

A selection of my favorite pictures are available on a special limited-time offer for those who combine a passion for photography and Cuba.

 

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Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

CUBA by KIKE CALVO

 

CUBA by KIKE CALVO

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

 

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

 

Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can now buy Kike´s products: http://bit.ly/RJXlqr You can travel to Colombia with Kike: www.colombiaphotoexpeditions.com
  • A. Henderson

    These are very nice pictures;keep up the good work. Hopefully, I’ll be able to travel to Cuba before ………., hopefully soon. Any tips on travel is appreciated…, thanks, Antonio

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