Editor Notes: Cuba recently hosted an international event: the visit of President Obama, the fist american president in Avana since 1922. Today and tomorrow we will publish 2 photography stories about Cuba. Here is the first one.
Cuba – the curiosity. One of a kind. A dinosaur, a micro-cosmos where time moves slower, where innovations like the internet until recently crashed against its borders, where scarcity contrasts with our standards of consumerism. And yet or maybe because of all this, Cuba is so rich of wonderful, unique people and vibrating streets.
It’s still unclear how fast Cuba is adjusting to our “time zone.” The country is opening up. While for decades the main business were the tourists coming from all over the world—with only few Americans, officially banned, getting through—Cuba is now in the process to turn towards the USA, to allow foreign investors in their country. Most Cubans welcome this change. “More choice in supermarkets,” they say, or “a stronger economy.” The dream of seeing the world and being part of it is strong, especially among the young. Cuba will change, and travelling to Cuba will not be the same. I visited Cuba in December 2015, in particular Havana, to document its life and streets. I was curious to get my own picture of the country in this moment of debated change and raising hopes.
Nicolai Bodemer was born in 1984; studied psychology at the University of Mannheim and obtained his PhD in psychology in 2012. During a 2-year sabbatical in Berkeley, California, the calling to photography and writing presented itself, and he became a vagabond-street-photographer, taking photos, wherever there are streets & people.