Cuba: 50 Years Under the Revolution ~ Through This Lens Gallery
Insights are gained as one views the Cuba Under the Revolution show at Through This Lens Gallery in Durham. In this exhibition photos taken by Tito Alvarez made in the early 60s are compared with those made by Pac McLaurin approximately 50 years later.
Pac McLaurin has spent almost a cumulative year in Cuba over the past 12 years. Avoiding hotels and staying in Casas Particulars (local homes approved to take boarders) has provided a very clear view of Cuban life. On his last student workshop, eight students from Appalachian State University accompanied him. In the first 24 hours these guys made 10,700 exposures and walked an average of just over 6 miles per person! This image of a lady with her basket selling peanuts is as typical street scene in this populous less affluent part of town.
Tito Alvarez, an award winning photographer who worked in the early 1960s until the mid 80s, took pictures of the people in his neighborhood—Gente de mi Barrio- basically people in their environment. This is a photo from that series:
There’s not a great deal of difference, both display what is going on economically for the people of their time.
Other times the photos are of broken buildings, poor people, and a sense of hopelessness, but they became a thing of photographic beauty when the light is right and the scene has composed itself and all you have to do is see! That was the case in this photograph made by McLaurin in Baracoa a small fishing village on the edge of Havana.
Pac McLaurin comments: “Cuba has a long way to go to become a tourist haven, those who think otherwise might carry some extra soap and toilet tissue!”
The opening reception for this show is held Friday, August 21, 2015 from 6-9 PM and will be on display through September 13, 2015. The gallery is located at 303 E. Chapel Hill Street in Durham, NC.
See the gallery’s website for more information.