Different Freedoms

Different Freedom

Different Freedoms, 36 x 24 pigment ink on cotton rag

The scene of Cubans using the public fountain as a swimming pool was mesmerizing.  The fountain location was a popular meeting spot.  It is located bellow the famous Hotel Nacional on the opposite side of the equally famous Malecón seawall in Havana.

I had a strong desire to come back with a camera.  When I was able to return it was just a small group of kids swimming in the fountain with adults waiting for them to finish their fun.  I was disappointed the grand scene was no longer but enjoyed watching the kids have their fun and the parents having to keep an eye on the time.

The grid structure was used to emphasize the charm, the complexity of the scene and the passage of time from different perspectives.  The only perspective missing is the police officer stationed at the busy intersection.  Thankfully he was not part of the scene and simply letting people enjoy their family time.

Photography on location is a subtractive art and opposite to painting.  In order to present a scene or send the message things or people are excluded.

At the time, my personal experiences were limited mostly to Canadian suburbs and cities and some American places.  In most North American cities, wadding or swimming in a public fountain is considered socially unacceptable and illegal. Reasons listed on prohibition signs are usually untreated water or liability and safety issues.  For me the only place a scene like this could happen without too many eyebrows being raised, was Montreal.

Many of the Cubans we met were very interested in discussing similarities and differences between our cultures.  With public fountain usage, the Cubans have the freedom to use them.