The photographs in this exhibit were taken during a travel-study trip to Cuba in March of 2012. This was the sixth such trip to Cuba that Santana had led as a professor of Hispanic language and culture at California State University, Sacramento. “The images reflect some of the scenes of Cuba today,” says Santana. “It is a kaleidoscope of life on the forbidden island, centering on Havana and surrounding neighborhoods.”
About his approach to this project, Santana explains: “This is not a fine art photography approach but more of a social documentary view of present-day Cuba and Cubans in their struggle to survive within a country faced with many limitations and restrictions ... an ethnographic exhibit of life on the verge of dramatic change.” It explores “themes such as education, food rationing, music, religion, nascent private enterprise, and survival ingenuity.”
After forty years of teaching Hispanic language and culture at the college level, Jorge Santana retired to begin his “creative phase”. Photography and videography have always interested him. He has led more than 50 travel-study groups abroad, always with a camera in hand. As a videographer, he has made many short videos dealing with understanding the culture that travelers experience during their journey, meeting people, going off the beaten path and exploring new ways of looking at the world. These videos can be viewed at his YouTube World Culture Series channel: armsantana.
Jorge Santana — Enthralled
Jorge Santana — Push Cart
Jorge Santana — Coffee Cops
Jorge Santana — Dreadlocks