Sunday, September 6, 2009

Farmer, West of Havana, Cuba, 2008

It's a sunny day and the rental car is due tomorrow.

Getting in the car seems natural and driving without a map even more so. The thought is to reach the main road, drive away from the sun after getting out of Havana and continue to do so until the sun is two hours from setting, then turn around and reach Havana as the sun sets.

I am alone and begin the drive as the sun rises. Many people are already on the road, waiting for public transportation to get them to their destination.

Seeing families alongside the road, under the sun, proves very difficult for me, knowing that my car is large enough for them. Being alone in a country foreign to me forces me to continue driving.

My experiences on this island have also taught me that the notion of helping people is at times viewed by certain authorities differently. During this trip, two authorities stop to ask me questions regarding my photography, regarding my relationship with the people being photographed, which leads me to explain this image.

Seeing a farmer tending to his land makes me stop at the side of the road. After a few minutes of conversation, he agrees to be photographed. I run back up to the car and get my equipment, set up the tripod and begin making exposures. After a few minutes a man parks his car behind mine and walks down the path to speak to me. He asks a few questions regarding my photography, my presence on this man's land and the like. The conversation proceeds nicely with the man advising me to be careful in the future, good advice from a man working within this island's intelligence community.

A few rolls of film are made, both in color and in black/white. I bid farewell to the kind farmer and drive down the road looking for another scene.