James Sparshatt

El tabaquero

Location          –   Viñales
Series             –   Spirit of the Revolution
Year                –    2001


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A tobacco farmer from the Viñales valley in Cuba.

In 1959 residents of Cuba were faced with a stark choice: stay on their island home and live as a “revolutionary” or leave. Some believed wholeheartedly in the new beginning, some were willing to be carried along and some abandoned everything they had and chose exile.

The Buena Vista social club found fame as much for their incredible spirit as for their music, but for me it is the everyman that you meet on the street, cigar clamped between teeth, a glint in the eye, that embodies the true spirit of those who have lived through 50 years of struggle.

James Sparshatt’s photographs of the “Revolutionary” generation of Cubans capture their grit and indominatable spirit.

The work is available printed directly on to brushed aluminium, and on paper as silver gelatin or palladium platinum prints.
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