Cuba Through A Photographer’s Lens

I perk up whenever anybody mentions traveling to Cuba. Okay, I get excited whenever anyone mentions traveling anywhere (childlike enthusiasm is both a prerequisite for travel writing and an occupational hazard), but Cuba is one of those places that’s always been on my radar.

Cuba’s mystique was heightened by the fact that those of us in the U.S. were forbidden to go there for so long. So when photographer Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss told me she’d been to Cuba, it was all I wanted to talk to her about. (In addition to being a talented photographer, she’s also my editor at Area Woman Magazine and she probably really just wanted me to stay on task…) I’m thrilled she agreed to share a few words and photos from her trip with us.

You can see more of Jill’s work (and purchase your own framed and matted fine art prints, if you’re so inclined) here. If you’re in North Dakota or Minnesota, you can also see Jill’s work in person at Luna in Fargo through August 26. Here’s Jill!

– Alicia
All words and images after this point are by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss


Photo by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

These images were captured in July of 2015, shortly before Obama lifted the travel ban, and while Fidel Castro was still alive. The view from Cuba looking out is much different than the view looking in.

Talking to Cubans and learning about the history of Cuba and how it has shaped the attitudes of those living there made me realize there is an array of opinions depending on your age, but most all are ready for change. It surprised me how freely the rest of the world travels to Cuba, and has been for years.


Photo by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

Cuba is beautiful and interesting beyond description. The juxtaposition of past and present can be seen practically everywhere. It’s vibrant, alive, proud and persevering. And, at the time I was there, optimistic about the future with the U.S.

And a little sidenote: We were surprised to find out that most of those old cars from the 40’s and 50’s that you see everywhere have been repaired to the point that what’s under the hood usually belongs to a completely different make and model of car.


Photo by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

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August 18-20
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