By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Dissident Cuban author, photographer, and pioneering blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo offers a suite of surreal, irony-laden pictures and texts from his local urban. His "diary of dystopia"—an unforeseen fusion of pictures and words—brings us towards Havana's scaffolded and crumbling facades, ramshackle waterfronts, and teeming human our bodies. during this publication, as attractive and bleak as Havana itself, Pardo courses us in the course of the relics and fables of an exhausted Revolution within the waning days of Castro's Cuba.
"It is hard to catch in pictures the soul of a panorama or a urban, maybe simply because they do not have one by myself yet many. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo's pictures, and the commentaries they're followed with, trap whirlwinds of souls and provide them to us in such method that our personal soul is transformed." –Fernando Savater
"Some [photographs] have a sly humor, others an summary beauty...Mr. Pardo Lazo resists any effortless categorization."...
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On both sides of the road, masses of pork squeal in the vendors’ fires. Money rules. Such an unpronounceable feast, Lezama Lima would write. The stench from the dead flowers is unbearable, like a funeral home. 30: Works and days Stepping on the accelerator of a South Korean Kia or pushing a Cuban wheelbarrow full of construction materials. This is the public right-of-way: convergence, parallelism, ubiquity. Havana today is the garbage dump of history, where the future is upon us with the whiff of a fossil.
They tell us about their predicament and warn us with their maudlin speech and their living Gospel on a corner of the nation. This is their social mission, and it’s no small thing. In Havana today, it’s hard to distinguish between those who are beggars and those who are not; we all wear the grimace of material poverty. Our walk along the line that separates us from the abyss is precarious. On a single bad day, we may cross it inadvertently, ending up on the other side. It’s not the government’s fault; let’s make that clear again at the end.
The short circuit between collapse and splendor, between decadence and prestige, between history and rust, was most obvious when looking up in Cuban houses. The lamps, designed for a legion of candles or bulbs, were barely saved from this leprosy, remaining with just a humiliating single power-saver bulb. With the boom in tourism and foreign investment, even these lamps disappeared. The temptations of the market led their owners, desperately poor, to sell them for a fistful of dollars they could use to prop up the house, or the family’s diet, or both.
Abandoned Havana by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo