Havana-8The project to capture 365 aspects of Venice  is nearing the end.  To be honest it’s complete already.  Every post is written, uploaded and scheduled to run the course of the final weeks. So what comes next?

Should I continue the process with all of the images I shot in Havana?

Well yes.

And no.

I’m not going to publish daily this time.  I don’t know enough about the city or its culture to speak with authority.  A few days isn’t enough for that, and my rare ventures into South American literature haven’t given me much to draw on.  What’s more I’m going to embrace colour.  Perhaps the vibrance will distract you from the paucity of my knowledge.  In allowing Havana this brightness I do feel that I am being unfaithful to a true love.  Venice has my heart, and perhaps no other city can compare, yet I have allowed Havana to show herself in her finest raiment.  I hope Venezia will forgive me; great love goes beyond the superficial after all.

The Havana blog will therefore be a weekly event.  I think I have enough possible topics to write one a week for at least a year, and hopefully the images I have will suffice to illustrate those subjects (though as most of those I have at my disposal are of buildings and cars I may have to be creative!).   I’m toying with posting the rest in a loose alphabetical order as I have a topic for everything but the letter K.  Surely by the time I get there I’ll have come up with something!

My friend Giuliana originally suggested the Cuban trip, “before it becomes Americanised”, and I saw what she was getting at so wanted to shoot the city as it is, and before it is adorned with golden arches.  When I arrived, I realised that there was an urgency to see the Havana now, and not before the cultural change takes place (that is arguably already underway since the TV in my hotel was showing Game of Thrones).   There are a great many beautiful buildings in the city that are crumbling away, a process that I’m assuming began with the revolution.  If that is true then the decay that I captured has all taken place in my lifetime; quite a rate of change.  If that assumption is wrong then please forgive me, but as you’ll perhaps hear when I get around to writing about the great cemetery of the city, there is evidence to support this view.

There is renovation taking place, and some locations have clearly benefited from a lot of attention.  The trouble is they are so pristine as to appear out of place.  Disney’s Florida parks aren’t so far away from here, so the climate and vegetation are similar.  Perhaps that is why I saw a similarity, or perhaps its because the restorations feel a little staged, a situation that isn’t helped by the fact that there are people in costumes who are paid to bring a sense of history to these places.  Epcot anyone?

So welcome to Havana.  A short flirtation, but not enough to turn my head.

Ironic that the former seat of democracy was fenced off (a temporary measure though)


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