Bazan Limited Edition

$ 1,200.00

BazanCuba Limited Edition
Photographs by Ernesto Bazan. Afterword by Vicki Goldberg.
Bazan Photos Publishing, 2008. Unpaged, 118 duotone illustrations., 11.75″ 11″

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Bazan Cuba through the photographer’s words:

“It took only fourteen years of my life and photography in Cuba, two intense years of editing, graphic design and finally go to press to bring to light this work. I arrived to Cuba for the first time, almost by accident, in the fall of 1992; I started a love affair with the island, which lasted fourteen years. On the streets of Havana I have found my Sicilian childhood, unconsciously sought in vain during many trips around the world.

For many years I had strongly desired Cuba, as a woman met once that you can no longer take out of your head. I’m almost certain to have lived there in another life,” I wrote in the pages of my diary. And there I found my life partner, Sissy, and from this union were born our twins Pietro and Stefano.

The book of 280 pages contains hundred and eighteen photographs divided into six chapters; excerpts from my diary, contact sheets, reflections and quotes from authors that summarize my philosophy on life and work.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of this book, printed on a very special matt paper using inks especially created for the occasion, was the choral participation of over forty of my students in the editing process. For over fifteen years, in fact, I exclusively dedicated myself to teach my workshops in Latin America, in New York and in my native land: Sicily.

The selection of photographs, the sequence and the creation of the layout of the book were the steps that we shared. But the help of my faithful students was not limited only to this … Thanks to them I was able to self-publish my work. The great generosity of my students who have pre-purchased copies of the limited edition of the book, containing a silver gelatin prints signed and numbered, was important for the project. Being able to maintain total control of every stage of production allowed me to tell my story in a personal and intimate way, while maintaining full sovereignty of all content.

The book combines a reportage approach in which I try, by photographing strangers met for a few seconds on the streets of the island, to grasp the essence of everyday life, and a more intimate and personal one with photographs depicting various moments of life of my family and my dear farmer friends with whom I shared unforgettable long periods in the Cuban countryside and that often reminded me of my land.

Far from being an external spectator parachuted on the island for a limited time, I chose to live from within this unique experience of life, mingling with the Cubans, becoming one of them, sharing their joys and sorrows. When I talk about my work, I often like to quote Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my mentors: “In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it only comes to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lies before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain. I’m grateful for: patience is everything.”

In May 2009, the book won the first prize at the New York Photo Festival and the silver medal at the Festival of Independent Publishers.


Excerpts from Vicki Goldberg’s Afterword

The singular apparition that is Bazan Cuba is not what just any camera would register, but Ernesto’s way of seeing, and no one else’s. Of the thousands of pictures of Cuba by Cubans and foreign photographers, none that I know look very much like these. The images here are stamped throughout with the photographer’s name, his perceptions, his mind, and they tell a story that belongs to him alone…


He traveled to Cuba several times from 1992 to 1997, fell in love there with Sissy, a Cuban, married in ’97 and made the place his home. When Pietro and Stefano, his twin boys, arrived, that bound him yet more tightly to the island. His black and white response, saturated as it is with his sad love for the country, was a perfect fit for the country, was a perfect fit for the island’s condition. In the 1990s he had stumbled into a historical moment, a time that Fidel Castro euphemistically called ‘the special period,’ when Cuba’s patron, the Soviet Union, collapsed and sent the island into a spiral of deprivation and radical change…


His account is not an observer’s but an insider’s, presented in an uncommon, even a labyrinthine, language. Ernesto’s Cuba, which he regards with intimacy, fervor, burning affection and quiet gloom, is fabulously dark, like a tale told at night in the piercing light of a candle flame…


Ernesto was born and brought up in Sicily, studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and first visited Cuba a decade after graduation…


At age seventeen, he had a dream in which he clearly heard the words, ‘You need to become a photographer.’ …


Bazan Cuba is in its way a love story, troubled, as love stories are, but a love story nonetheless, about a photographer and the country he claimed, or reclaimed…


One day in 2006 he was summoned to the police station and told that he could no longer teach photographic workshops. No reason was offered, but he was warned that if he didn’t stop, he and his family would be in trouble. And so they left…

— Vicki Goldberg

Additional information

Weight 4.9375 lbs
Dimensions 11 × 11.75 × 1.25 in

Trade Edition, Limited Edition


English, Spanish, Italian

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