Latin America and Photography

$19.95 hardcover
978-0-8263-2923-3

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Cuba: Picturing Change


Photographs by E. Ledbetter
Translated by Achy Obejas

With insightful essays--in English and Spanish--from Louis A. Pérez Jr., America's preeminent Cuba scholar, and Ambrosio Fornet, renowned Cuban author and screenwriter, Cuba: Picturing Change introduces the work of photographer E. Wright Ledbetter, whose images create a captivating portrait of the remarkable Cuban culture as it faces the complex forces of change.

Made from visits to Cuba over a four-year period (1997-2001), Ledbetter's photographs take us on a compelling journey within a culture pressured by numerous internal and external difficulties, where the resulting climate is saturated with the tension and uncertainty brought on by a political and economic future that continues to evolve with no clear direction.
Graphically alluring and rich in metaphor, Ledbetter's photographs focus on the overwhelming power and spirit of the Cuban people. They also explore what he believes is an imminent Cuban culture shift and inevitable redefinition of Cuban identity.

As Ledbetter's visual narrative unfolds, however, the photographs begin to reveal a greater depth and mystery, framed by the honest eye of a humanist and the compassion and perspective of an artist.

Cuba is a setting in which the questions surrounding its future become the questions all cultures face as social systems--political, economic, and otherwise--help shape human experience.

The photographs and essays of Cuba: Picturing Change emerge as a beautiful, balanced, and inclusive body of work. They capture one view of Cuba on the cusp of centuries, and at the same time explore the timeless art of human perseverance and the powerful current of the ever-changing human story.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

E. Wright Ledbetter is an award-winning photographer who lives and works in Rome, Georgia.

Louis A. Pérez Jr. is the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author and editor of many books on Cuban history and culture including On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture.

Ambrosio Fornet is an internationally acclaimed Cuban writer and critic, and author and editor of several volumes on Cuban culture.

Louis A. Pérez Jr. is the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author and editor of many books on Cuban history and culture including On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture.

ACCLAIM

"The photographs provide insight into the moral condition and material cicumstance in which Cubans experienced at a time of dislocation. They speak of the public face of hardship, and as such occasionally offer insight into the interior lives of people engaged in the commonplace doings of everyday life."

--

The Chronicle of Higher Education



"Ledbetter uses a rich array of tonal grays and blacks to create an engaging mood, and the texture and detail of the photographs, as well as the dramatic framing or camera angles, give personality to otherwise ordinary scenes in streets, alleyways, barbershops, and homes."

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Library Journal



"This book is about people, not politics. The photographs in this collection reveal Cuba's past and present, but the question remains: where is it going? This work is highly recommended to anyone -scholar or general reader -interested in Cuba."

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Colonial Latin American Historical Review



"These are not the bright images of cozy architectural decay and dashingly mended old American cars one expects in photographs of Cuba. Ledbetter turns his lens to Cuba's people, who shine through the stark blacks and whites."

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endeavors



"This book explores Cuba's greatest strength - its people. Ledbetter's portfolio of images from Havana and surrounding areas captures the spirit, struggle and vulnerability of the Cuban people. From an outsider's perspective he offers dramatic views of the Cuban culture at their defining moments in everyday life."

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MetroLA



"The photographs render rich details and capture the bold play of light and shadow that is characteristic of Cuba."

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The Antioch Review




11 x 12 in. 216 pages 125 duotones