Destination Cuba: Photographing Havana During a Time of Transition

March 22, 2016

Shortly before Presidents Obama’s historical visit to Cuba this week, SVA Destinations Digital Photography in Havana successfully completed its first workshop co-taught by MPS Digital Photography Chair Katrin Eismann and faculty member Jaime Permuth.

Each day was filled with walking and photographing along the streets of Havana and meeting many Cubans along the way. As Eismann explained, “The Cuban people are open and friendly and often invited us into their homes and businesses to see how they lived and show us what they are proud of.” Permuth added, “This is a historic juncture for the Cuban people and we focused our attention on exploring and imaging the uncharted territories of a still unfolding transition”.

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In addition to photographing in Old and Central Havana, the week’s itinerary included shooting a morning training session with boxers at Gimnasio de Boxeo Trejo, a visit to Cementerio Colon, a daytrip to Viñales outside of Havana and a private tour of a tobacco farm. “Traveling with such a talented group of photographers and educators was an inspiration,” shared MPS Digital Photography online faculty member and alumnus Geoff Scott (MPS 2010 Digital Photography). “We regularly stayed up late into the night discussing photography, working on image editing, and comparing our individual visions of the captured experiences.”

Additionally, the group had a chance to hear two inspiring photography lectures. World-renowned Cuban artist and photographic expert Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde, director of La Fototeca de Cuba, gave a historical overview of Cuban photography and Richard Bram, one of the workshop attendees, presented a lecture on his street photography at Fabrica de Arte, a former factory that has been converted into a thriving contemporary art space with numerous galleries, screening areas and bars.

As MPS Digital Photography student and workshop participant Boyz Bieber wrote, “The trip was wonderful, the people were great, and I look forward to using what I learned for years to come.”

The first Digital Photography in Havana, Cuba trip sold-out in 10 days and now a second workshop is being offered May 24 – 31, 2016. For more information, click here.

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