CUBA

 

A crumbling city signifying a dying age deteriorating away to make way for a new era. Buildings give off a deterioration almost ancient feeling as if you missed the prime of an almost ancient era and now all your left with is aftermath of last nights booming party.

The city like its locals, are still standing though beaten and battered through rough times yet find away to remain. Buildings stand wide and proud even though visually and structurally unstable.

At first glance, that's just what it looks like, remains. But take a deeper look down and it’s allies and see signs of life and artistic outcries signifying there’s some thing huge simmering, rumbling, and about to burst. The locals hop on wi-fi spots in narrow allies as American culture slips its way in through the crevices of the crumbling socialist walls.

The street art in Havana hits you like a surprise gift hidden somewhere for you to delightfully stumble upon. The eye candy of bright colors, abstract art, and thoughtful messages are a delight to the eye as they are playfully sprinkled throughout the aging walls of the city.

These old, dusty streets instantly transform into lush green World Cup Futbol fields as soon as a soccer ball hits the pavement in Centro, Havana.Bystanders and neighbors are transformed into cheering fans. The youth shout and scurry back and forth dribbling fancy moves, stealing, blocking, and scoring goals in the mannerisms of the Futbol Gods that are proudly inscribed on their favorite team jerseys.

Inhabitants squeeze in and out of tiny door like shapes carved out of metal grated doors used as various mini markets. Take a stroll down a side street and rock eyes with residents sitting in behind barred front doors as if they are literally imprisoned. Living in a dying eco system on its last leg but holding strong to keep it’s people in it.

Locals pepper the giant slowly decaying building popping out of doors and window facades bonging to structures that look like they could be bulldozed or collapsed over any minute. reminding you that people actually do live in.

I didn't see much advertising in Cuba. The majority of the few billboards that I did see were solely dedicated to remembering the revolution and its long gone historically famous yet faded figures. This one billboard, focused on the different aging faces of Fidel Castro. Shrouded in the shadows of the leaves from the trees above it, it started from the youthful yet serious face of the beginning of his political career to the old yet somehow still powerful looking old man at the end.​

The spirit of Fidel Castro can still be seen throughout. Marks of the revolution stand strong through the deterioration. I came across this haunting depiction of the revolutionary and ruthless dictator rising from the dead as an avenging angel. It’s more than enough to make one wonder how Fidel would feel now after seeing Cuba open it’s doors to America. His views strongly opposed everything that America represents and now it’s influences are flowing through Cuba’s floodgates.

The artist of this piece has certainly captured the anger and contempt of the revolutionary spirit well enough to inflict a haunting on it’s viewers. Powerful enough for them to feel the spirit of Castro and the idea of a rebirth stirring in the air.

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