As part of Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival 2019, I published a small edition of books containing one of the first photo series I’m still proud of, Cuba: Twilight of the Revolution.
Prints from the series has previously been shown in New York and Berlin. Since Cuba has a clear linear narrative, folks have suggested more than once that the project’s natural home is in book form, but this is the first time I’ve actually done this.
My original plan was to work with OutThePhone to publish, since they had expressed interest in working together going back several years and as recently as 2018. But I had some personal stuff come up in early 2019 which made certain deadlines tough to meet, and I ended up instead printing a small run of 20 using Blurb 🙄 for maximum speed and convenience.
All the copies are hand-signed and numbered, and there’s still a few left if you’re intested in owning a piece of history (Cuba’s, and mine).
Anyway. From the book’s back cover:
Cuba: Twilight of the Revolution, a photobook by Alistair Henning, is a capsule of nostalgia for a recent moment already passed – and that moment was, itself, heavy with the burden of clinging to a past that seemed to forestall all possible futures.
January 2012, Cuba: Fidel Castro, the aged Communist-inspired dictator who liberated the country from American influence decades earlier, was still clinging to power (through his proxy / brother Raul) but had not made any public appearances in … who could say how long, exactly? Meanwhile the people, increasingly impatient for meaningful and positive change to finally come to their island.
Travelling as a tourist and staying at state-sponsored hotels, Henning documented this transitional time using the Hipstamatic application on an Apple iPhone 4s. Although extremely lo-fi by contemporary standards, he feels that “many of these photos would not have been possible to make using a larger, more conspicuous camera”.
While images from this project have been exhibited previously, this is the first instance of the complete series’ publication in book form.