22 images of everyday life in Havana, Cuba will be on display at an Ocean County gallery beginning tomorrow.
Island Heights resident Bill McNamara spent December 2013 in the country’s capital city.
“I wandered through this isolated but vibrant city capturing the rich culture and pride of its inhabitants,” he said.
The photographer says the exhibit at the Ocean County Artists’ Guild in Island Heights captures the essence of Havana’s residents prior to the recent diplomatic events.
“The mystery of Cuba is unraveling as diplomacy returns between two large and once bitter rivals. These images show the fortitude and strength of an Island’s population adapting to five decades of shortages and stalled progress,” McNamara said.
He says his experience in Havana was larger than his expectations.
“Everyone I met was warm and kind — not just to me but towards each other,” the photographer said. “The atmosphere is hard to describe. They are missing or have shortages of some many items. They re-purpose everything. Here in the U.S., we would just dispose of the item. They find a second, third or tenth use for so much.”
McNamara says the Cuban landscape will transform now that relations with the United States have warmed.
“Once economic trade begins and hard consumer goods, building materials, and other products can flow onto the Island they will be absorbed lightning quick,” he said.
“So the essence of Cuba will change rather quickly.”
The exhibit runs from Sept. 6 through Sept. 29 at the Ocean County Artists’ Guild (Chestnut and Ocean avenues) in Island Heights. The exhibit will be on display Thursdays through Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Join photographer Bill McNamara on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. as he hosts the show’s opening reception.