Images of Gibara

Images of the Cuban town of Gibara, a view of everyday life in present day Cuba through the photography of Gonzalo Vidal.

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Fishing in Gibara

Photographs by Gonzalo Vidal (all rights reserved).

Bahía de GibaraThe ocean is the first sight that greets you when you arrive in Gibara. Not the wide open expanse, but the tiny fragment that lingers trapped by the curves of the coast. On the motionless bay the small boats drift, their masters still seeking to drag a precarious living out of the abandoned waters, once the route of Gibara’s wealth, now the symbol of the town’s stagnation. Continue reading

Arriving in Gibara

Photographs by Gonzalo Vidal (all rights reserved).

GibaraGibara sits on its bay, on the north coast of eastern Cuba, not far distant from the city of Holguin. Some say it was named after the jiba, a bush growing abundantly along the banks of the Rivers Cacoyuguin and Gibara, which flow out into Gibara Bay. Others believe it came from the guibara, a common shrub found along its coasts. But whatever the origins of its name, it was here that Christopher Columbus first set foot in Cuba, his ships finding shelter. Amazed by the richness of the vegetation, the proliferation of bird song and the framing of the hills, it was here that he exclaimed “this is the most beautiful land that human eyes have seen”. Continue reading

In the city of tomorrow’s people

It is May 1958, and Albarrojo has returned to the start of the Malecón, and from there sees the crowds gathered to witness the opening of the long-awaited tunnel under the mouth of Havana’s bay, connecting the east to the city. Now no longer necessary to catch the ferry across to Casablanca, or make the long trek round past the port, past Luyanó, Virgen del Camino, Regla, Guanabacoa. In forty-five seconds, you can now reach the other side, emerge in the shadow of the Castillo del Morro, and continue eastwards to the new towns emerging. New homes for the middle class, becoming overgrown as the years go by with concrete blocks amongst the trees. Continue reading

Kidnap, race and death along the Malecon

2nd Grand Prix of CubaAlbarrojo finds himself amongst the crowds that have gathered along the Malecon to watch the second Cuban Grand Prix. Cuba is in the grip of uprising. Guerrillas of the Ejército Rebelde in the mountains of the East, now broadcasting with their newly founded Radio Rebelde. Urban insurgents of the Movimiento 26 de Julio in the cities, with hit and run actions, seeking to cause what disruption they can to Batista’s regime, which responds with brutal inefficiency while seeking to show the world that business continues in Cuba as usual. Continue reading