I've come here from Cuba.

Things are different here, but I can sometimes remember when I was a kid. The economic conditions were bad there, but still my mum could always find a way to visit some place here or there. When we went, she carefully planned each photo, and snapped it. She would spend whole evenings with the prints spread out on the stone floors of our Havana apartment, picking just the right one for the story's next scene, and carefully inscribing a thoughtful, cursive caption on each memory to preserve each ephemeral moment for eternity.

In later years, the Special Period, with no chance of travel, I would slowly turn the pages, and the joy would slowly return. And with each snapshot of time, repeatedly questioned, examined, I would then dream of these places. The autumn days in a cold city, or a trip down to the coast to marvel at a 19th-century frigate. What is it like to travel to a strange, unknown land? To encounter people different than you? To learn about others and how they live, and what they dream of?

I would later dust off her old Pentax from 1978, forgotten in a sad drawer for years, and would go, with her hanging from my shoulder, to the Photography course where I first learned about the intricate mechanism that is a camera.

Even the etymology of the word "photography" was fascinating enough for me: photos (light, from Ancient Greek), plus graphein (to write) — writing with light, painting with light.

Today, I revive moments perhaps forgotten. I smell the earth and breathe the air of my island’s valleys. I amble the streets of Havana and stop to look at the faces of these people, my loved ones, separated not so much by the miles but by decades of an illogical and archaic history.

Today, I have lost myself in a world of pixels, colors, and techniques… with a perverse pleasure in the richness of it all. I don’t want you to view through my photos only beautiful animals and landscapes. I would like my photos to speak to you. I want their eyes to whisper things to your ears, and these cities and peoples to tempt you, I want you to guess their emotions and their stories. If that can happen, I will be satisfied.

Liset Cruz
March, 2009
Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Today: living in the East Bay, California.

All photos in this site are copyrighted and cannot be used without my permission.