By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Dissident Cuban author, photographer, and pioneering blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo provides a set of surreal, irony-laden pictures and texts from his local urban. His "diary of dystopia"—an unforeseen fusion of pictures and words—brings us in the direction of Havana's scaffolded and crumbling facades, ramshackle waterfronts, and teeming human our bodies. during this publication, as appealing and bleak as Havana itself, Pardo publications us during the relics and fables of an exhausted Revolution within the waning days of Castro's Cuba.
"It is hard to catch in pictures the soul of a panorama or a urban, possibly simply because they do not have one by myself yet many. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo's images, and the commentaries they're followed with, catch whirlwinds of souls and supply them to us in such approach that our personal soul is transformed." –Fernando Savater
"Some [photographs] have a sly humor, others an summary beauty...Mr. Pardo Lazo resists any effortless categorization."...
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Extra resources for Abandoned Havana
Now is no time for trusting. Maybe it’s time to have a little faith in despair. Cuban skepticism could be very fertile, very effective when the time comes to move the most immovable bricks of the wall. Nothing is more creative today than our disbelief. No one will convince us afterwards that it was not worth trying, trying to push the wall until it falls. 37: The struggle continues, victory is uncertain It’s not on a mount, but on Mount Street, an avenue winding through Havana, the ugly border of the most densely populated municipalities in the country.
And so November is the only month of the year when a Cuban can fall in love with another Cuban. In a photograph he calls “Comet Cuba,” Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo shows us a kite rendered from the blue and white stripes and red star of a Cuban flag. It flies up high against a tall, dark building, with the open blue sky above, and he writes: “There are hours of the day and there are days in the year when Cuban life is so unreal that it evaporates. All that is solid melts unto air. It’s been decades since I’ve flown a kite.
He smiled with a wisdom he borrowed from God, in whom, at heart, he could not believe. He never punished me. He never went to a hospital—except as a cadaver on a filthy stretcher to the former Quinta Benéfica. He had a merciful metastasis that never caused him pain. Or he never complained. He was stoic, a hero of the home and not of the despotic plazas of the proletariat. He was contemptuous of Fidel and died at eighty-one on Fidel’s seventy-fourth birthday. He warned me not to talk about politics so much in public.
Abandoned Havana by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo