Havana. Just saying the name evokes images of bright Caribbean colors, American cars with fins from the 1950s, and once-glorious buildings fallen into ruin. Now that this socialist island country is open once more, this picture will soon change. Now is the time to pause for a moment and take a closer look at Cuba’s capital city.
Bernhard Hartmann starts on the streets, showing us cafes, shops, and boxing clubs, but he also takes us behind the facades of the mansions, whose well-worn charms immediately captivate the viewer. Crumbling plaster, cracked walls, worn stair treads—we see all of this in the pictures, and yet these places are vibrant and alive. Traces of bourgeois life, dignified and stylish, survive despite the adversity, masterfully captured in brilliant photographs.