‘Havana Now’ Photography Exhibit Peers into Cuba

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A rooftop view of Cuba. Image courtesy of Eric Lane Photography.

A rooftop view of Cuba. Image courtesy of Eric Lane Photography.

Walking into the Movement Gallery tonight will be a journey through time and space for the free public reception of San Antonio-based photographer Eric Lane’s exhibition “Havana Now,” 6-9 p.m. at 1412 E. Commerce St.

Large scale, color-enhanced digital photos printed on canvas bristle with insight about the true heart of Cuba while capturing the nation’s powerful mystery.

The gallery is sponsored, in part, by the Southwest Workers Union (SWU) and is held in collaboration with Bihl Haus Arts. Lane’s show is one of the first exhibits in Fotoseptiembre USA, a month-long celebration of photography.

A busy street in Cuba. Image courtesy of Eric Lane Photography.

A busy street in Cuba. Image courtesy of Eric Lane Photography.

“Personally, these images hold a deeper meaning. They represent how far I have come from those fear-laden days of my childhood when I built a nuclear shelter under the playhouse in our backyard.” Lane said in a press release.

Eric Lane. Courtesy photo.

Eric Lane. Courtesy photo.

Originally from northern California, Lane graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in political science and minored in studio art. He credits several inspirations, including Italian culture and the impressionist painter Michele Cascella. However, he also remembers the energy and spirit of the late sixties and early seventies as his strongest influences.

“These images reflect my own evolution, philosophically, creatively, and politically, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to my trip to Cuba in 2012,” Lane said.

Lane’s photos open the doors of a once closed-off country and slowly provide insight to a country and a population awakening to the internet age.

According to an Associated Press article by Andrea Rodriguez, a growing number of Cubans are finding their way into cyberspace. A few of these bloggers have gained international audiences.

“Yoani Sanchez (a Cuban blogger) writes the ‘Generacion Y‘ blog and gets more than a million hits a month, mostly from abroad,” Rodriguez wrote. “Ordinary Cubans can join an island wide network that allows them to send and receive international email. Lines are long at youth clubs, post offices and the few Internet cafes that provide access, but the rest of the Internet is blocked – a control far stricter than even China’s or Saudi Arabia’s.”

Eric Lane's photo of a daily scene in Cuba. Controls of imports and U.S. sanctions make it difficult to buy parts and fuel. Photo by Kay Richter.

Eric Lane’s photo of a daily scene in Cuba. Controls of imports and U.S. sanctions make it difficult to buy parts and fuel. Photo by Kay Richter.

While Cubans face harsh restrictions and even harder consequences, the spirit of Cuba remains strong.

In 2008 SWU lead a delegation of ten people to Cuba to exchange and strengthen ties within Cuba. “That collaboration has shown us that workers, indigenous people, women and youth hold the power for long-term systematic change,” stated SWU in a press release.

The reception will feature live music by Latin-fusion band Los Nahuatlatos, with a special guest appearance by the Cuban duo Las Krudas.

The exhibit continues through Oct. 4 and is free and open to the public.

Organizers of Eric Lane's exhibit at the Movement Gallery work Wednesday to help prepare for the event. Photo by Kay Richter.

Organizers of Eric Lane’s exhibit at the Movement Gallery work Wednesday to prepare for the event. Photo by Kay Richter.

*Featured/top image: A rooftop view of Cuba. Image courtesy of Eric Lane Photography.

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