Another Cuba, a Different Fidel By DAVID GONZALEZ
Ernesto Bazan’s images of the Cuban countryside are remnants of a tropical dream — suffused with tenderness, color and a hint of mystery. You can almost touch the damp earth, where a freshly slaughtered pig lays near a puddle of blood, or smell the hand-rolled puros whose smoke hangs in the air like a milky veil.
David Gonzalez, a photographer himself, is one of the most frequent contributors to Lens.
The rhythm of life among the guajiros en el campo — farmers in the countryside — is a slower one that reminded Mr. Bazan of his childhood in Sicily and offered a respite from the melancholy, gritty urban world portrayed in his previous book “Cuba.” He found himself returning often to the western end of the island where he spent days with farmers like Fidel Rodriguez.
“In an hour and a half from Havana, I would be in another era,” Mr. Bazan said by phone from Spain, where he had been conducting editing workshops. “The Cuban countryside is stuck in time. Havana was more agitated, but the countryside had an extraordinary slowness. They lived off their land, they had animals, so they could eat better. It was different from the city where people felt all the economic restrictions. In the countryside it was poverty with dignity.”