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Under the surface

Fulvio Bugani | Cuba

Men at work. 1. fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the field is distributed to state markets of Trinidad. Trinidad, Cuba, 2.12.2015

Cuba is very different and much more complex than it is often described. 

To grasp its facets you have to go beyond its irresistible attractions and catch what lies below the surface, by mixing with people, letting yourself be carried away by the throbbing everyday life, experiencing Cuban multi-ethnicity and cultural diversity. You will be overwhelmed by the pulsing, savory mix of freedom and closure, of passionate revolution and melancholic resignation.
My aim is to describe this mysterious world, free but at the same time caged, made of vibrant rhythm, passion and strong contrasts, by depicting everyday scenes in complex striking images where the light is a fundamental trait, being both a protagonist of the picture and the medium to capture the Cuban soul.

The strong deep shadows, on the contrary, are used as imaginary presences to show the elusive side of the Island. A kind of “other world”, which is difficult to grasp, since it is not so visible but still present. Lights and shadows are therefore metaphors to represent the mystery and complexity of Cuba.

A distracted and superficial eye looking at Cuba might notice only poverty and backwardness, in addition to the beautiful landscape. But Cuba is enchanting and fascinating, not only for its beauties of nature, as someone might think, but for the people themselves. They are the real “monument of the Country”. Their spirit is what makes this place magic. 

There is much more in Cuba then the simple image depicted by the International media or by the touristic brochures. This is what I want to show with my long term project in Cuba especially in this historical moment where globalization is slowly infecting also this country.

In fact, the actual opening of the United States towards Cuba and a possible lifting of the political and economic embargo could endanger the current balance of the island, bringing it towards a future that is difficult to predict.

Fulvio Bugani is an Italian freelance documentary photographer based in Bologna (Italy), with more than 20 years of experience.

He actively collaborates with associations and NGOs, such as: Doctors without Borders and Amnesty International, for whose he has realized reportage on social issues.

His work has been published on international magazines or websites like TIME LightBox, LFI – Leica Fotografie International and Cubadebate.

In 2015 he was awarded at the World Press Photo, and has received two honorable mentions at MIFA - Moscow International Foto Award, for his work about Indonesian Transgender.
He is currently one of the 12 finalists of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2016 with his project "Soul" y Sombra.

He has several on-going photographic projects in Cuba, Indonesia, Turkey and Georgia.

He is a member of TAU Visual (Italian Association of professional photographers) and NPPA (National Press Photographers Association).

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