The Old Man and the Sea
16 April, 2019
My Cuban journey was inspired by Hemingway's Pulitzer-winning novel The Old Man and the Sea, which tells the tale of Santiago, an aging fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Upon reading I thought: what would life have been like in that sea town almost 100 years ago?
Today, a few miles east of Havana, Cojímar remains a small harbour town. The writer's legacy persists here through stories passed down at the bar where he often drank during his 21 years living in the area. Along the sea wall, a memorial featuring Hemingway's bust sits under six tall columns.
The town's simple life is its draw. Quiet streets, fruiting mango trees and welcoming people offer what I believe is a true representation of Cuba. It was these unseen vignettes of a once censored country that I was keen to capture. Faces smile, resilient and optimistic, despite being weathered by political and economic turmoil.
It's this determination that I took away from my trip - and what will inspire me to return. This series features images from both Cojímar and Havana, something I felt necessary to highlight the two very different parts of Cuba. I encourage those who have not visited this seaside town to venture beyond the capital and be inspired for themselves.