Saturday, 25 of October of 2014

Havana Nights

Havana Nights

While looking for stories to Tweet about today, I stumbled across this rather haunting photo series by Liban Yousef called Havana Darkly. The photos are all very beautiful and Yousef has obviously made good use of his camera’s control functions to capture them. However, what is most outstanding, to me, about these photos is the eerie empty feeling they have. Taken at night, they make me think I’m looking at photos of a ghost town or of some place that time forgot.

Granted, the United States started its embargo of Cuba back in the 1960s which is why so many of the cars seem to be from the 1950s or 60s. The buildings themselves also lend to this quality of temporal amnesia, though. Looking at them, signs of time’s passage are very clear in the flaking paint, the dirt, and the stains. Even the streets look as if they’ve not been well-maintained. Even in some of the photos were there are people in the frame, you get a sense that they might be the only people in the entire city. It’s chilling but beautiful.

To be sure, there are true ghost towns in the world. There are several towns that were abandoned in the western part of the United States — their crumbling structures and detritus the only proof that people once lived there. But to see a city like Havana so quiet and desolate that it makes one feel as if they are looking backwards in time…that takes a really good photographer.

– da Bird