Thursday, September 18, 2014

Campesino + Bicycle, San Antonio de Los Baños, Cuba, Summer of 2014

As Alejandro and I drove south from Havana and into the countryside this man was leaving his driveway to cross the street. I looked at Alejandro and asked if we could approach him. The answer was as always, 'como no!' We turned around and drove past the man a bit, then parked and waited for him to reach us.

He immediately gave us his permission to be photographed. So we walked to the front of Alejandro's car to be on the safe side, and set up the tripod. He told us a little about his life, that he had lived on the land across the street for the last 80 or so years. We were of course floored, that this man was at least 80 years old and still riding a bicycle on a daily basis. 

We made his portrait in less than five minutes, then promised to return later with his pictures. It so happened that we did return later in the day with his pictures, and he was so pleased, showing off his pictures to his grandchildren and to his sister. He invited us to the back of his house, where he proudly showed us his avocado tree while giving us a few for the ride back home.

These are the moments hidden from most while viewing this work. This event alone would fill the eight or so minutes required at the upcoming TEDx Talk next month. It was my honor to have been in his presence this past summer and my responsibility now to preserve his story along with his image for those outside of the island to witness.

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M2, edited for size and contrast only.

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