¡Viva Cuba! Photography by Susan Mall

¡Viva Cuba!
Susan Mall, photographer

Artist Statement
My interest in photography began with my love for travel. Upon entering a foreign city, I walk the streets for hours hoping to witness a decisive moment or find a special place that transforms my perspective from simply that of a visitor to a photographer trying to preserve an image or document a scene through the lens of my camera. Though I had traveled extensively before I began studying photography, I have never seen the world so clearly as through a camera. The lens sharpens my senses and I am able to absorb more.

On all three trips to Cuba my senses were overwhelmed as the sights, smells and sounds captured my full imagination. I was captivated by the subtleties of Havana that can be so easily missed: commuters hurrying home to see their families, kids playing games in the worn cobblestone streets, old men and women peeking over their balconies to survey the hustle and bustle from which they retreated, and women shopping at the barely stocked food "ration" store. The dog, the bird and the turkey posed in front of peeling, faded, weathered and graffitied walls, all became symbols to me of a Cuban culture that is growing and lively in spite of the state of disrepair and decay.

To capture the enormity, energy and beauty of Cuban culture through photographic images could be the mission of a photographerʼs life. I wanted to provide a glimpse into a this country of contradictions, a country that has been left behind by the modern luxuries and services so readily available to Americans. Hopefully, my photographs serve as a visual representation of a vigorous culture that continues to thrive in the face of an impoverished economic environment.

All photographs are available for purchase. Please contact Lenore Naxon at 415.292.1235 or LNAXON@JCCSF.ORG