Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Hands of a Working Man, Streets of Havana, Cuba, July of 2011

This year I hope to make images in a more spontaneous manner, like the image above.

While walking up and down the streets, opportunities are missed because we're walking to our next destination. The man with these hands was almost such a missed chance. On this day we walked a little more slowly, and recognized a mutual curiosity.

He was sitting with two other friends on a ledge in front of a home. They were taking a break from work, and watching people walking down the street. We talked a bit and then asked to make images of their hands. Each had their way of extending the hands, and this was his way.

Here they are, instruments he has used over the past five decades to support himself and his family. They extend from an unfocused background, like messengers from the past, and tell us their stories. The stains from under his fingernails are evidence of his creations, of his sweat.

I admire the working man and believe that this is the truest of heroes. He asks for nothing more than sustenance for him and his loved ones, and offers his hands as a sign of his humanity. He understood my desire to photograph his hands and allowed such to be done with only a smile on his face. I cannot express my gratitude fully when this is done on behalf of my work, I can only do my best to preserve the image for future generations.

For more of my work, and to contribute your thoughts regarding this project, please visit the newly designed website below, courtesy of Patrick Luu.

Halim Ina Photography