Cuba May '17 - Change Comes Slowly

Ken and I are just back from a week in Havana--our first trip in 6 months. We were planning our final shoot for LOS HERMANOS/THE BROTHERS, a tale of two Cuban brothers long separated by geopolitics but united by music. It is the centerpiece of EVOLUTION CUBA: Stories of Art & Change, our series tracking Cuba's transformation through the lens of art.

The general consensus among our friends and colleagues is that, except for the privileged few connected to the booming tourist industry, not that much has changed for the average Cuban. There is more internet, a few hundred hotspots around the country instead of 12.  Now too, people who get their hands on a router can access slow internet at home with something akin to telephone cards.  Some food is harder to come by, since resources are diverted to the deluge of tourists, and the first 5-star hotel just opened in Havana. Nonetheless the vibrant, distinctly Cuban cultural scene unfolds.

We'll see what the future holds as  Trump unveils his new Cuba policy on Friday .

Here are a few memorable images from our travels.

This random wall reminded Ken of Diebenkorn, Marcia of Paul Klee.

This random wall reminded Ken of Diebenkorn, Marcia of Paul Klee.

Our casa particular (Cuba's version of AirBnB, around since the 90s) in the Vedado district of Habana. Marvelous colors and a balcony to watch the tropical storms passing through almost every afternoon.

Our casa particular (Cuba's version of AirBnB, around since the 90s) in the Vedado district of Habana. Marvelous colors and a balcony to watch the tropical storms passing through almost every afternoon.

The beautiful University of Habana campus.

The beautiful University of Habana campus.

We happened to be in Havana for the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Peppers and were lucky to catch this tribute  at Havana's Parque John Lennon, featuring, among others, David Blanco (who we know from our Cuban tour with Havana Curveball) and his brother Ernesto, and X Alfonso, the visionary behind the awesome Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

We happened to be in Havana for the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Peppers and were lucky to catch this tribute  at Havana's Parque John Lennon, featuring, among others, David Blanco (who we know from our Cuban tour with Havana Curveball) and his brother Ernesto, and X Alfonso, the visionary behind the awesome Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

Our night at La Fábrica ranged from a delightful harp duo to improvisational theater to the excellent Harold and Ruy López-Nussa and their extraordinary stand-up bassist, Gaston Joya. And some knock out art:

Our night at La Fábrica ranged from a delightful harp duo to improvisational theater to the excellent Harold and Ruy López-Nussa and their extraordinary stand-up bassist, Gaston Joya.

And some knock out art:

Other highlights include celebrating our field producer Claudia Bueno's thesis film defense, and the opening of our sound recordist Javier Figueroa's new 5.1 audio studio.  If all goes well, we'll be there finishing LOS HERMANOS/THE BROTHERS within the year.

Other highlights include celebrating our field producer Claudia Bueno's thesis film defense, and the opening of our sound recordist Javier Figueroa's new 5.1 audio studio.  If all goes well, we'll be there finishing LOS HERMANOS/THE BROTHERS within the year.