© Ernesto Bazan. Above: Little girl sitting on a rocking chair, Bautista, Cuba, 2002.
“While living in Cuba for over 10 years, I finally realized that throughout my professional career I had been unconsciously searching for my happy Sicilian childhood. Discovering the Cuban countryside was an unexpected return to those unforgettable years. The Cuban farmland opened new windows of opportunity for me. I made new friends while wandering these intimate landscapes. I regularly returned to visit Fidel, Miguel, Jose, Inesita and their families. I shared intimate rituals with them: eating meals together, smoking sugar-tasting cigars, sipping sweet rum as we conversed about our lives. My way of shooting changed. Taking pictures became part of our ritual together, it was no longer my main priority.
My photographs are about this very hard, simple, and yet beautiful traditional way of life. Sowing the land, harvesting crops, raising families, raising animals, killing and eating them for survival. These images give voice to a people never heard before, people that will never make the news. They convey the poetry of small things and the simplicity of farmers still living a traditional life-style.” – Ernesto Bazan
Al Campo has been graciously self-published thanks to the invaluable help and support of so many of Bazan’s students.