Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Our Man in Havana 9: the Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón

The Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón was founded in 1876 in the western suburbs of Havana, now known as the Vedado neighbourhood. Arellano de Loira y Cardoso, a Galician architect, built the cemetery and was also the first occupant when he died before his ambitious project was completed. Acording to Wikipedia, "Colon Cemetery is one of the great historical cemeteries of the world, and is generally held to be the most important in Latin America in historical and architectural terms, second only to La Recoleta in Buenos Aires."
The cemetery is full of ornate statuary and superb marble-work, similar to what I have seen in New Orleans, Louisiana.
There are also examples of 20th century Communist realism-style sculpture; workers toiling for the state type of symbolism. In this example, the man on the very left is carrying sugar cane, while the next man has bananas.
The man in this tomb is the Afro-Cuban singer and musician Ibrahim Ferrer Planas, who died on August 6th, 2005, at age 78. An Economist essay described his life and the revival of Cuban music around the world. Ferrer was one of the musicians in the “Buena Vista Social Club,” which sold 4 million copies worldwide and won a Grammy. In 2004, when Ferrer won the Grammy, the United States government denied permission for him to enter the U.S. to receive his award.

Photographs taken with a Leica M2 rangefinder camera on Kodak tri-X film. I developed the film in Kodak HC-110 developer and scanned the negatives with a Plustek 7600i scanner.

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