John Angell: Cuba, After the Revolution

 Time seems to have stood still in Cuba since shortly after the revolution, especially in old Habana. When John Angell visited in 2015, he was taken by its people’s resilience, optimism, charm, and the warm welcome he received despite the ongoing US Embargo. The country is a study in contrasts. Store shelves have little variety and low inventory, yet the education and medical systems in place are free, high quality, and available to all. Everywhere he went, there was music, and the arts were thriving. 

Habana is a crumbling beauty. Its architecture retains a quiet dignity despite its failing walls and infrastructure. The vintage automobiles mostly run on new Toyota engines because U.S. parts are unavailable to repair them. The color and light in Old Habana also seemed to belong to another time. It is reminiscent of screen print postcards of the 1940s and 1950s. The photo encaustic process brings this out vividly.