Cuba: after the blockade.

After a 50 plus year economic blockade, President Obama issued directives that would loosen sanctions and eventually (hopefully) normalize relations between the United States and Cuba.

Travel became possible starting in August 2016 for Americans to finally visit the country that most would describe as “frozen in time”. Inevitably, swarms of American travelers made their way to see Cuba for themselves; including New York City based photographer David Zheng.

In a country that is recognized for it’s timeless facades and classic American cars, David wanted to dig deeper to find the true essence of the country. Every corner seemed to be a postcard photograph, but it certainly was not all the country should be identified with. Allowing his intuition to take over, David eventually found intense interest in the Cuban people.

When you interact with locals in Cuba, it’s apparent by their friendly and playful nature that they are genuinely good people. They are people who have experienced much pain throughout their country’s tumultuous history and yet they still welcome foreigners with open arms. It’s a tough conversation when you attempt to broach the struggle of the Cuban people. Underneath the prideful façade, there’s an indescribable aura of loneliness that peaks through. Perhaps it’s the loneliness of living in near-poverty like conditions while the rest of the developing world moved forward. A revolution sounds glamorous in theory, but to live under it’s repercussions is a different story.

David Zheng’s photographs pays tribute to the Cuban people. Stripping away the importance of the location, the main focus was the Cuban people and their relationship to daily life. From hanging out by the home door, to swinging off a pipe connected to a building; There is hidden magic of daily nuances to be seen in every corner.

About the author:
David Zheng is a portrait and editorial photographer based in New York City. Born and raised in New York City, David began his professional career working in the Stock Brokerage industry. After an 8-year stint, David decided to leave finance to align his career and passion for photography.

Instagram: @iamdavidz

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