“Memories of Underdevelopment”: a photographic series from today’s Cuba

Certainly, “Memories of Underdevelopment” is a series inspired by the novel and film of the same name, according to the artist statement. The photographer, Barbarito Walker, is the “main character”: like Sergio Carmona, the protagonist in the works of writer Edmundo Desnoes and filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (Titón), he “experiences and reflects on the social and political changes in Cuba after the 1959 Revolution.”

Walker is “an observer” who—like his putative alter ego—has stopped looking through the telescope to go out and “hunt stumbled realities.” So, the author of this series, as his surname suggests, is also a walker…

Not just a voyeur but also a flâneur. The right formula for street photography. The changing city is then these faces, these gestures… The photographer is, finally, “a witness.”

In the introduction note to this series, we also read: “The narrative follows his thoughts and observations as he tries to adapt to the new reality and find his place in a transforming environment.”

“The images, in black and white to intensify the drama and emotion,” warns the brief auroral statement, “reveal the expressions of a people marked by scarcity and control.”

* No Country Magazine publishes this series of photographs by Walker as a sort of tribute to the Cuban writer Edmundo Desnoes, author of the novel “Memories of Underdevelopment” (1966), whose death at the age of 93 in exile in the United States was known on December 6, 2023.

Visual story teller. Cuban street photographer.


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