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[Exhibit] “Viva la Ilusion “Long Live the Illusion” // Oakland

[Exhibit] “Viva la Ilusion “Long Live the Illusion” // Oakland

“Viva la Ilusion “Long Live the Illusion”, is not a vision or slogan chanted at popular manifestations in Cuba.

This compilation of frames where taken in Habana from 2000 until 2010. In that decade, I focused my attention in the day by day life in Habana.

Contemplating the different scenes I remember with particularly interest to the older generation, whom helped to shape the revolution. In my view, they were left on their own terms, also the new generations coming up after me are the truth visionaries of what could be the next face of the revolution. A revolution with a greater flexibility for change; particularly after the news of the relationship with the US. As I was immersed in projecting films in several film festivals I feel inspired to represent my perspective of the contemporary scenarios in my city of Habana.”

Guillermo Belmonte


Exhibit] “Viva la Ilusion “Long Live the Illusion” // Oakland


“Fragmented Families”

Before I left Cuba for good in 2003, I used to walk the streets in my neighborhood with my camera ready, surprising those who crossed within the frame, but no one looking at the camera. I wanted to make them part of the composition and nothing more. The subject in my previous work was the entire compositio

I left Cuba in May of 2003 and because of the travel restriction imposed by the Bush Administration in July of 2004, I was only allowed to visit my country once every three years. This series is the result of my first visit to the people I left behind. I focus not only on my immediate family, but also on the people I used to see every day in my neighborhood. The distance and the time I waited to go back, created a deep gap in my interactions with my people. When I was there I realized, how much I missed walking and seeing the streets full of familiar faces, but in order to express how close I felt to them, I needed to photograph them looking straight into the lens. Only after seeing their eyes through the lens could I press the shutter and freeze that moment, knowing in advance that I would have to wait another three long years to repeat the experience.

When I started taking these pictures, I knew of the work of Tito Alvarez, another Cuban photographer who has a series call “Gente de mi Barrio” in which he represents the characters of his neighborhood like the shoe-repair man, the butcher, and so on. All of these immortalized characters where looking at his camera, welcoming him with a beautiful expression. I wanted to feel the same way. I wanted to be noticed by my subjects and feel welcomed the same way, as if I had never left, as if I was one more time one of them.


Firehouse Art Co “Lottie Rose House”

6117 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, California 94608
February 22 2017


Start: 02/22/2017 @ 11:00 am
End: 02/28/2017 @ 5:00 pm
Cost: FREE
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Website: Visit Event Website