Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Luis Alarcón | The Last Dragons

Photo © Luis Alarcón - All Rights Reserved
I've become much more selective in terms of what appears of The Travel Photographer blog, and only post photography work that I personally would've loved to do myself, or have done (or doing). The work of Luis Alarcón falls very neatly in the first category, and I nod in appreciation to Photography of China for having brought his work to my eyes.

Alarcón's calls his latest work "Yellow", Last Chinese in Cuba, or perhaps more poetically, The Last Dragons (a title I much prefer). This excellent work is part of a larger visual anthropological project about the four main races that constitute the Cuban people's identity by documenting their current lifestyle and culture. 

Cubans largely originate from American Indians (which 
Alarcón labels as Red), Spanish conquistadores (White), Africans (Black) and Chinese immigrants (Yellow).

Having visited Havana in the late nineties, I had totally forgotten it had a Chinese presence, and was reminded of the fact when in Hong Kong last month and the subject was brought up by a fellow photographer who had recently been to Cuba.

The Last Dragons project focuses on the reduced Chinese community still existent in Cuba today, and documents some of their memories, surroundings and the few places they congregate in. Alarcón tells us this is a long term project in which he seeks to find and photograph all the China-born Chinese who live in Cuba, as part of the diaspora of the Chinese people.

Luis Alarcon is a documentary photographer, writer and travel designer based in Havana. He is an expert on the history of Cuba, and specialized in anthropology, genetics, migrations and miscegenation among the different ethnic groups that populate the island.