EXPO PHOTO Mi Habana Imaginada
a THE PROECT IN 2 WORDS Physical travel to destinations beyond the ocean is very limited or challenging at the moment, but traveling through my photographs of Cuba is quite possible, safe and close!
An experience that I would love to share with you. From September 16 to October 16 2021, you can visit my home town and meet my family, not in Cuba but in Marseille!
A trip to Havana, an Imagined Havana. An EXHIBITION of my photographic reportages made between 2014 and 2020 in Cuba. Invited by the Cultural Association L'Arca delle Lingue, the exhibition is hosted in its spaces in Marseille. The exhibition is organized in 4 different rooms, with a total of 34 photographs made between 2014 and 2020. 4 distinct stories and yet all connected to each other: 1. In a Corner of Havana 2. Home (Cojimar, the village that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man and the Sea”) 3. Family Portraits 4. After Irma TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT, THE COUNTERPARTS AND ROLE OF CONTRIBUTORS, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN a ABOUT ME ELIZABET CASTILLO Photographer, Multicultural and Polyglot a Born in Moscow in 1982 to Cuban parents, I spent the first two years of my life at the Lomonosov State University, before moving to Cuba with my mother. Since my childhood, I showed a talent and interest in art in general, my mother enrolled me in drawing, painting and flamenco classes. From a very young age, my life path has been influenced by different cultures, people and languages. This undoubtedly influenced my photography style and is, for sure, the reason why I decided to become a photographer. In 2007, after finished my studies of Geography, I moved to Germany, where I discovered photography by chance and enrolled in the Photo Academy of Cologne. Photography became an instrument to express the distance, absence and nostalgia of my culture. I develop a fascination for photojournalism and family portraits. Settled in the south of France with my husband since 2018, I devote herself entirely to photography. a
ORIGINS OF THE PROJECT a After seeing my photographic work, the association L'Arca delle Lingue invited me to make the Havana exhibition as part of the Mea Cuba Festival, which would have taken place in October 2020 in Marseille. As a multicultural artist and Cuban, I share the same values as the association and I am very happy that they chose me as one of the artists of this cultural event. The annual event Mea Cuba is a festival that aims to promote, disseminate and celebrate Cuban culture, through contemporary and updated issues, on the fringe of stereotypes and thematic overexploitation.
The Arca delle Lingue is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of Romance "language-cultures". Their field of action embraces two activities: the teaching of foreign languages on the one hand, and cultural events and actions on the other, starting from the consideration that both the learning and the teaching of a foreign language imply an immersion in another culture.
L'Arca delle Lingue
a In 2020, after months of preparation, it was very hard for me to know that the festival and the exhibition would no longer take place because of the COVID crisis! Unfortunately, this year again the festival fell victim to the virus and would not take place either. Hoping for better days and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of L'Arca delle Lingue next September, the association invited me again to exhibit my photos in its spaces. So I have given myself the mission to put together this long awaited photo exhibition with the title "Mi Habana Imaginada" which, with your help, will take place in September 2021. It has been more than 15 months since I last visit Cuba due to COVID.
15 months I haven’t see my parents and my home town. This makes this PHOTO EXHIBITION especially important for me.
Going back over and over again by looking at the photos that I’ve made between 2014 and 2020, remembering the laughter of my mom and the noise of the Streets of Havana, seeing my family… a touch of Nostalgia.
TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT, THE COUNTERPARTS AND ROLE OF CONTRIBUTORS, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN a
THE PROJECT IN DETAIL From September 16 to October 16, I am pleased to welcome the public in the spaces of the Association L'Arca delle Lingue to discover my temporary photographic exhibition. Photographs made in Havana, Cojimar my hometown, and of my family. Where? 1 rue du docteur Jean Fiolle 13006 Marseille
I will bring you to places, moments and people I have a relation with. You will see Habana through the eyes of a native and my work as an artist.
The Photo Exhibition is organized in 4 different rooms, with a total of 34 photographs made between 2014 and 2020. 4 distinct stories and yet all connected: 1. IN A CORNER OF HABANA Exhibited in December 2019 in Space NIKAU in La Ciotat, Photo Reportage between 2014 - 2018 More than 14 years have passed since I left my beloved Habana, my family, my culture and my native language! I go back there every year where I enjoy walking in its streets. Unfortunately, I find them more and more degraded, mistreated by the passage of time, destroyed by the lack of resources of its inhabitants and the indifference of the government. This mistreatment is only a reflection of the neglection of its inhabitants and their lack of concern. Except for the children, where one can still see hope shining in their eyes! They are our future! a LensCulture critic (extract) This is an intriguing set of images. I see a lot of images with Havanna as a theme, but these are much more interesting, nuanced and engaging than the average depiction of the city. I really admire your ambition with trying to express complicated feelings and relationships to a place that has played such an important role in your life, and clearly continues to resonate for you in many ways. (…) Your narrative approach to your images seeking to draw out metaphors and suggestions from your subjects is really admirable and gives your photographs an added depth and resonance. In addition, I can feel the emotional and personal engagement with the place and people you photograph, and this in itself is a strong achievement (...) 2. HOME Photo Reportage between 2014 – 2020 Most of my childhood memories are here in this small fishing village east of Havana. This is my Home. The village that certainly inspired Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man and the Sea” I remember my school work for history class, afternoons in the library of my grandfather the historian, researching his essays and writings on the village. The school bus stop, the black sandy beach where I used to swim, the pier where I spent my weekends during my teenage years, the little park of Marti where the marlin fishing fair was held. Each place evokes a memory beyond a tear or a smile and sometimes even fear. a Lensculture critic (extract) To begin with, it's rare to see visions of Cuba from a native. As you know, so many photographers of other origins have come and made pictures that idealize the place and sensualize and glorify the decay. Yet many of your photographs feel like they have a very different point of view. They feel genuine and they often feel raw and exposed. There are a lot of intriguing images in this selection (…) Image 5 is such a classic photograph. It reminds me of Elliott Erwitt or Robert Frank's work. The composition utilizes the lines of the car beautifully but as opposed to so many photographers who visit Cuba the photograph isn't ABOUT the car. And for me, this sets your photograph apart. no less, the silhouetted trees in the distance are a beautiful and ominous presence. 3. FAMILY PORTRAT Photo Reportage 2014 - 2020 The place is Cuba, the people my family and neighbors. A serie of photos that could have been taken from a family photo book, yet they are not the classical Family photos.The photos show seemingly ordinary moments for my family interacting with each other and even with me, yet they are fleeting experiences that quickly accumulate over a lifetime. a Photo Finalist at Estée Lauder Pink Ribbon Photo Award "Rresilience" 2020 |
Exposée a Paris at the Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques in February 2021 Lensculture critic (extract) Looking through the portfolio it looks like a selection of photos from a family diary, where you capture the connection, closeness, and moments where this family is experiencing life through the bond they share. In these photographs you photograph what is closest to you and at the same time you capture elements of your relationship with the children you photograph. (…) The series is a creative approach to getting at something deeper than our common notions of family photographs. The images take the viewer to specific moments when the people in the photos are going throughout their days waiting, talking, and staying connected. (…) An interesting quality of your work is how it crosses the lines between documentary photography, photographic art and photojournalism. Your images strike me as illustrating a lot of ideas having to real characters. (…) I see the photos as theatrical performances of inner concepts expressing close connections, patience, close bonds and attentiveness. This entire portfolio of images is psychologically and emotionally powerful as a group of images but they also have the power as stand-alone photos. I think that your images would do well in an “art” environment. Your photos really do cross a lot of creative boundaries, which is highly encouraged in the art world. 4. AFTER IRMA Photo Reportage 2017
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean. It was a powerful and catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage. These photos were taken after the hurricane hit the town where I grew up and where my parents still live: Cojimar. I was very sorrowful to see so much destruction, it hurt me so much. There was no loss of life in Cojimar, but many people lost their homes and all their belongings. My mother led me to these people, telling me about their tragedy with tears in her eyes. a a COUNTERPARTS AND ROLE OF CONTRIBUTORS With your support, you contribute to the creation of an artistic project. You are also invited to the vernissage and the finissage (with nice surprises) and you have the possibility to acquire my art prints signed by me. You will also contribute to help Human Rights! If I exceed the required budget, a part of the collect will be donated on behalf of all contributors to Amnesty International to defend the right to freedom of expression. A right that is increasingly violated in Cuba. For more than 10 years I've been actively supporting Amnesty International and rising awarness about the situation of Human Rights in the World. This is somenthing i'm very passionate about as an artist and as a human being.
Without freedom of expression, no one can claim their rights.