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  • Amara Amaryah

travel | postcards from la habana and viñales, cuba part 2

Amara Amaryah | travel + books + poetry, always poetry. a platform for story-telling, visuals, positive self-talk and empowerment. | postcards from la habana, cuba

the photo diary continues. i'm saving the stories for another time, for now:

postcards from viñales, cuba

wednesday 12 february 2020.

i made the 7.30am tour that i booked 10 hours before and it was worth it. viñales is considered to be one of the ancient parts of the island. it was a welcome break from the noise and movement of havana.

as part of the tour, we explored tobacco fields and the process for making signature cuban coffee and rum.

this is a man from hamburg who will hopefully think twice before taking pictures of black women without their knowing. whenever i travel to somewhere new and beautiful there is inevitably somebody (middle aged white man usually) who thinks it is okay to take pictures of me as if i am really the photo-worthy subject in what is literally cuba's preserved natural landscape. i am not an inanimate object in a museum, i will react. during my trip to córdoba i called out this man and it annoyed me further because he just walked off laughing or smiling to himself making me feel, again like i'm in a museum and not intended to be spoken with. now i don't talk, i just snap back with my own camera. in all honesty this photo clash ended in a conversation and exchange about our countries, he learnt something and i didn't have my day ruined, i felt the fierce island woman in me smiling.

went to explore the caves in cuba where, apparently, indigenous people would've settled. i shared a boat (that was leaning a little too much for my liking) with an italian family who took pictures of me only when i asked.

la habana

thursday 13 february.

started the day taking a tour of havana in one of those 50's cars by the coolest brothers in havana.

plaza de la revolución

my favourite piece in museo nacional de bellas artes de la habana — and i somehow completely cropped the artist's name out.

viva la revolucion

found my way back to old havana. once i turn this corner i will meet with a vendor who i chatted with on my birthday. in my head i said i'd come back to buy from her and I did. we had a beautiful discussion about being black in cuba while she personalised some of my gifts.

i spent the rest of thursday enjoying golden hour which literally turned havana into a yellow dream, chilling with my airbnb host before getting ready to go to fabrica de arte (a must). i made some solid friendships and memories from that night. i spent friday being present in my final full day, making the longest trip to the nearest beach and checking out havana's hidden club which was an experience. i feel so connected to havana so it won't be long before i find myself back.

fin. end of the photodiary.

thank you for taking time to experience cuba through my lens. Yah bless.

Amara Amaryah


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