Along the Malecon of Havana

blogga, Cuba

A glimpse from the Malecon (officially Avenida de Maceo) of Havana, Cuba. When I returned home after my vacation in Cuba in april, I had problems with my photos. Or, not the photos, but the context – showing them here.

I thought about exoticism and how a colonialist way of looking – or at least a prejudiced approach – often is revealed in the sceneries we record and collect when we visit unknown, distant places. How many of us exploit strangers to get creds, without reflection. Then I lost my enthusiasm and left the folder of Cuban Photos in my computer, to concentrate on the places I know better.

Some days ago I started looking at the pics again and decided to post some photos anyhow, as several friends have asked me to. I will continue thinking about this – probably without coming to a conclusion – and I would also love to hear your opinion of this dilemma.




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A Swede learning to live in Madeira.

2 thoughts on “Along the Malecon of Havana”

  1. Photos first – they are beautifully permeated by the colour of blue – sea, sky, jeans, cars; white and brown for clothes, rust and skin. Not many other colours…this gives balance and a sense of breezy freshness. Lovely.

    The dilemma. Well, the fact that you are contemplating and discussing it is great. I agree with you, don’t think many people even reflect on it. I can also understand that you felt unsure about how to go about it, and left the idea and the photos to think it over. Sometimes I’m just fed up with the world and what we all are doing too, but I have come to a conclusion:

    In the first place, I almost never photograph people, mostly because I’m too embarrassed to ask. Some peoples or tribes do not want to have their picture taken at all – that’s my obligation to know about that and to follow their rules. I have also found out from the few people I have dared to ask, that they generally feel proud of being photographed and love the pictures when I show them.

    Secondly, I know why I take pictures, and that’s not to exploit other people or their countries. I don’t want to show misery or diseases – I want to show beautiful life and lives of another kind than mine. Different cultures, different customs. If nobody did – what would we know about each other? Not everybody has the possibility to travel to foreign countries on their own

    I feel I could never be one of those who photographs disasters, injured people or war. I guess they are needed for us to know, but there’s too much of this …that’s my opinion. Too much of this will make people in general numb and noncaring. “Just another disaster…what’s that got to do with me?”

    Balancing all this is not easy. It would be interesting to hear more opinions about the problem.

    Thank you for sharing those great shots!


  2. Indeed, it is a dilemma and I have no solution to offer. It’s a question how you are involved. I often don’t take a picture – slums for example could be very pitoresque – but in Indonesia people often offer to become photographed. It’s even common to take pictures of dead persons. There’s another view behind this, compared with western customs.
    But I have no mercy to take portrait-photos of people who are behaving in an anti-social, aggressive way. I even stood bevor a completely corrupt judge because of this – and came free.


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