« Cuban Soul »

Cuba is a country rich in culture and beauty that often caught the eye of the photographers and the attention of the camera lens.

A very well photographed country, the beauty and mystery of Cuba can be seen in many fantastic images. Although these images all encompass the same vast country,  they are very diverse:  some are “clichés” meanwhile others like those of Walker Evans and his time are real masterpieces that remain totally faithful to Cuba !

When a photographer feels that he ” should return somewhere”, it means that he knows that in order to truly capture the image he must fully immerse himself in the soul of the country over and over again, as if drawn by magic. It is a need stronger than the photographer himself, and that is why Xavier Roy returned to Cuba more than a dozen times !

And finally the pictures appear on the contact sheets, many faces, as Xavier loves people. He enjoys smiling and talking to them… and eventually he takes their portrait. And so he did for this old man with his mustache and sweet smile or this grandfather and his child, bare-chested under his straw hat….The Cuban sun is so strong ! Not to forget this man behind his window in company of his dog, snout through the bars, and this young woman with curlers and a conniving smile. And many more !

In fact all this portraits takes us deep into the real Cuba : we can feel the climate, see the architecture, the time passing by and a lot more. When we travel, we not only cross borders and change country, but the tastes, the smells and all the rest changes as well …

Bernard Plossu

Publisher : Flammarion
Publication : 2/11/2004