Friday, April 24, 2009

Cuba Photo Archive on-line at Duke University

Dear Readers:

My 1850 black and white photos of leaders, ordinary Cubans, places and events taken in Cuba between 1964 and 1965 have just been put on line by the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library at Duke University.

The link is:

Signed, numbered copies of a few selected photos from this collection will soon be available here!


  1. I just saw the headline for your post in my sidebar and came over to tell you that I am anxious to view these photos. Friday night is about to become dinner, conversation, pets I'll get back later tonight or on Saturday. This is very exciting, Deena!

    (Are the photos really from 1850 or are there 1,850 of them? I can't wait to see)

  2. My silly question in previous comment aside, I have just had quite a tour of the collection having viewed a number of the 58 pages of historical and artistic shots. Deena, I didn't realize that you are a photojournalist also! What you captured and preserved, and what is now preserved by Duke University, is a riveting view of Cuba at that time. In particular (keep in mind I will return to view more) I am taken with a shot of Castro-profile view-in a crowd. There is a young Raul Castro that shows him practically fresh-faced. There's a double exposure that I found so artistic. And each one I saw of Che was wonderful. To think that you were actually there with him....
    Your portrait photography is amazing. One of a fish captain from a captured boat was wonderful. Even a shot of pigs out in a field was like no farm shot I've ever seen.

    Thank you for these intimate and amazing photos. It is absolutely wonderful that Duke has the collection. So many will learn from this in the years ahead.

  3. Lydia,
    Thanks for your comments. As you could see, almost 2000 photos.

    I'm hoping the book will be republished, properly this time.

    I'm curious to know whether you and two other readers are stuck in
    the middle of A Taoist Politics.

    Feedback very precious!


  4. Thanks for sharing these, it is a wonderful collection. Greatly enjoyed the shots of Castro doing a work out. And this one:

    For street shots, I liked this one: and this one

    Perhaps my favorite of the collection is this one: - They seem to be guarding themselves against the giant banner and holding onto their hats at the same time...

  5. Hi Wayne,
    I just came across your comments on my Cuba photos. My site has been under construction for several months, though not as far
    back as May. I'm sorry I didn't see it when you posted it, and am glad you liked the pics.

    Just conducting a little improvised survey here, if the book they were taken for were available with 100 photos and 1964
    text for downloading via PayPal, would you be likely to buy it?

  6. Dear Deena,
    Thank you for publishing your photos; it is indeed a historic treasure. I had a great time browsing through the collection and getting to a see a Cuba a never had the opportunity to know. You are an exquisite photographer.
    I’m curious about one thing though; I notice there no photos of the current province of Villa Clara, where the city of Santa Clara, its capital is located. Villa Clara also has one of the older cities in the country (Remedios), very nice beaches and the Escambray Mountains with the city of Cienfuegos on the south.
    In my opinion, as I go and study more and more my birthplace (Santa Clara), I notice that the city is pretty much all the time forgotten my travelers. So my questions are: What happened? Was there something special that made you not go there? Were you by yourself, or did someone on the newly communist government taking you to places?
    I’m asking all this, because, like I said before, I realized most people flyby the center of Cuba without stopping. And there is popular rumour that the Castro brothers sort of despise Villa Clara, and Santa Clara in particularly. Obviously that has never been proved or whatsoever.
    As a person who lived those Cuban moments seating in the first row by yourself, I’m quite curious about your inside on this matter.
    Thank you very much in advance,
    Wilder Mendez.