Sunday, 23 August 2015

Marylise Vigneau | Havana | About Time 1 & 2

Photo © Marylise Vigneau-All Rights Reserved
"In Havana, time is an unavoidable character. Destructive or facetious, sardonic or nostalgic, political or imaginary, irreverent in any case, time sprawls its texture and shadow all over the city." -Marylise Vigneau
It's absolutely 'about time'... Cuba's embargo by the United States has been in place since 1960, and the restoration of its full diplomatic relations and the opening of our embassy in Havana only occurred very recently.

Marylise Vigneau's work returns to the pages of this blog with her updated Havana galleries, which she has titled About Time I  (color) and About Time II (monochrome).

I envy her her photographic style, which -to me- defies an easy characterization. Is it street photography, urban photography, environmental portraiture? I end up deciding to make it easier to myself,, and accepting it's a mix of many styles and that it represents a multi-faceted eye that defies pigeon holing, and categorization.

What better photograph represents Havana's exhaustion and faded grandeur than the aging woman in her gilded bed, reading a local newspaper (news? gossip column?) with a knowing smile on her lips? Or its poverty and its famous 'can-do' attitude of its people than the decrepit legless armchair resting on cinder blocks, and a Mother's Day kitschy graffiti on the wall?

Photo © Marylise Vigneau-All Rights Reserved

These are Marylise's glimpses of Havana...one of the best cities in the world for street photography, and where my fondness for this style was probably born more almost 14 years ago. Life in Havana happens outside of its dilapidated buildings, and I don't have to tell my readers that its people are incredibly photogenic; the mix of African, Carib Indian, and European has created a melting pot of handsome people, endowed with wonderful hospitality, remarkable musical talent and exuberance.

Marylise Vigneau is a French photographer who traveled to and lived in a number of countries as her galleries attest. These include work from Cambodia to Uzbekistan, from Mongolia to Myanmar, from China to Sarajevo including powerful and compelling images made at a mental hospital in Lahore.

Her work has been shown in Angkor Photo Festival, Foto Istanbul, Yangon Photo Festival, Nairang Gallery in Lahore and Focus Photography Festival in Mumbai. It has also been published in Pix Quarterly (India), Asia Life and Milk (Cambodia). She is also an alum of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop (Sarajevo).