por el camino del mar

 

Havana, Cuba - 2017

I grew up an islander, hopping between the North Fork of Long Island to Shelter Island and the isle of Manhattan and beyond, for as long as I can remember. There has been so much debate about what it means to be local on the East End. Although I have lived on the North Fork my entire life, I have grown up with a displaced sense of identity, having always yearned for a motherland. In pursuit of my own Latin-American identity, it had occurred to me that I need to see Havana. It was a gut feeling. It seemed that, there, I would find whatever I am hungry for. Interestingly enough, the majority of the portraits I made were of men.

I left Havana with a question I had read in a book about the way Cuban identity has been shaped throughout its history. While not my answer, it is a consideration that seems relevant to any islander—whether in Cuba, Miami or New York: “Are we who have emerged or the remnants of what has sunk?”