All images by Malte Grüner. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Stepping into the streets of Cuba is like stepping into a place suspended in a bygone era, or into a movie set at the very least. We can’t help but think that way, seeing that the scenes many of us are familiar with are the charming, worn out buildings with a shiny vintage car or two zooming past in the foreground.
If Cuba has long been on your travel bucket list, then this series by Malte Grüner might just convince you to book that trip, stat. It’s called viva la cuba and is composed of photographs showcasing everything we’ve mentioned above – and more.
Malte toured around the towns of Viñales and Trinidad and the cities of Matanzas and Havana, taking various images with a Sony A7 III camera and Samyang 24mm f2.8 and Sigma 35mm f1.4 lenses. His photos, which are mostly of streets and alleys, depict what a typical day is like for Cubans – serene, slow-paced, simple.
There’s a bunch of portraits thrown in the mix, too, showing locals either posing happily for the camera or caught unaware by Malte as they go about their business.
Malte’s series is reminiscent of others we’ve previously featured here that put the spotlight on Cuba and its people.
Photographers Frederic Saez and Sam Parke both had the idea to showcase different sides of Cuba rarely seen in their individual projects. In Residents of Palacio Mortera, Frederic “trie[d] to bring to light a side of Cuba asphyxiated by the economic blockade since 1962 installed on the island.” In Cuba and the World to Come, Sam captured the poetic side to Cuba’s everyday scenes.
On the other hand, Jeroen Nieuwhuis and Stijn Hoekstra decided to focus on Cuban people in their respective portrait series. In People of Cuba, Jeroen took the images of the people they met during a trip to the country in 2016. And in Cinematic Cuba, Stijn captured beautiful portraits with bold colors and cinematic tones.