The son of Cuban parents, Baldomero Fernandez grew up in Miami hearing stories about the “homeland” throughout his childhood. He first visited Cuba in 2000 and began working on his photo project “Cubano,” meaning Cuban. This series of photos documents his personal experience discovering a place and culture that he had never seen before, but that seemed vaguely familiar.
“Visiting ‘home’ for the first time, I discovered a familiarity in the accents, language, and in the everyday thoughts of the island’s proud people,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez described Cuba as a place where time seems to not only have stopped, but to no longer exist. “Hours, days, years pass in Cuba with little noticeable change,” he said. “There is no real hustle and bustle; even in a large city like Havana people go about their affairs in a pretty relaxed and carefree way. Add to this the visual landscape of old cars and old architecture that is little changed, and it feels like time has literally stopped.”
Throughout his three trips to Cuba between 2000 and 2006, Fernandez found he was impressed by the resilience of the Cuban people.
“In a suffocating atmosphere of political, economic and humanitarian repression, the Cubano finds a way to live,” he said. “When there is no choice, the Cubano makes due with what they have in infinitely creative ways.”
For Fernandez, his photo titled “Calle Mojada,” meaning “Wet Street,” really evokes the feeling of being in Cuba.
- Angie Walton, CNN