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Cuba ’62

Cuba ’62

9781910170991
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A montage of text and images by Richard Hollis and JS Tennant, featuring Juan Goytisolo, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, and others.

1962. Cuba, the USSR, and the United States. A British graphic designer, a young Spanish novelist, writers, photographers and film makers. All visiting the island to record the social transformation brought on by a revolution. A country that had, months before, declared itself socialist following the Bay of Pigs invasion. Land reform, nationalisations, embargo, terrorism, music. Castro, Kennedy, Khrushchev. The streets and plazas of Havana. Sunlight.
The open fields, cooperative farms, cane-cutting. Soviet troops in civilian clothes, spy planes; covert night-time operations. Antiaircraft guns hoisted onto the rooftops of luxury hotels. Naval blockade, realpolitik, thermonuclear war. Back-channel diplomacy, public panic. Digging in, going to ground, holding out. Dialectics of the spectator. The vertigo of transformations. Deadlock. Cuban neo-realism and cinema verité, a Magnum photographer, traces of a world crisis.

 

Richard Hollis is a designer and writer on design history based in London. He was one of the few Westerners to be in Cuba at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, working on the Cuban literacy project.

JS Tennant has been visiting Cuba regularly for twenty years. He was one of the first foreigners to visit the former Soviet missile sites from 1962.