Religion is an interesting and controversial topic in most places, Cuba is no exception. Faith in Christianity or belief in the Orishas (Afro Cuban Gods) is more popular than one would imagine. These religious roots stem from way back in the Island’s history. 'Faith' was taken at my Great Aunt's house in Santo Suarez, Cuba

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Ninety Miles - an intimate journey

Jorge Monteagudo | Cuba

Ninety Miles – an intimate journey is about the people and land I left behind, and re-discovered nearly 30 years later. Ninety miles separates Cuba from the United States mainland, and is considered one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world. This work is about an emotional awakening, a quest to know ones roots. It’s about not allowing a political divide to alienate us from who we are and what we love.

I have been working on this project for about 15 years now. It all started with a deep curiosity to know and understand where I came from, and a desire to share that understanding with others. I hope that through these images, we learn something more about Cuba, about its people, and about its soul.


Where do I even begin; it’s been a labor of love, and a lot of time and emotional investment.  I’ll start by thanking my Wife, first and foremost, for her support and strength, and for joining me on so many missions while in Cuba, and for her patience while I spent endless hours in the Darkroom and on the computer putting this work together.  I must thank my grandmother, “Mima”, may she rest in peace, who shared so many wonderful and inspirational stories, told from the heart, as only she knew how.  I only wish we had more time to exchange these recent experiences.  I never would have made it if I didn’t have the sense of place that my grandparents instilled in me.  Pipo, my grandfather, who told his many “bodega” stories over and over again, leaving me with a visual I could never forget.   For Tony, my cousin in Cuba, whom I met for the first time in 1997 because of this political divide between two countries that tears at the fabric of family.   For 30 years I only knew of him through stories my grandparents would share.   I have to thank my mentor, Chuck Kelton, Master Printer and Artist, whom I studied under for so many years at ICP in NYC and taught me so many things about the beautiful art of B&W silver-based photography.  For his tremendous patience, generosity and guidance, and in helping me see this project through.   For all my Teachers and Educators that are so important in our society and inspire us to “go get it”, I thank you and appreciate you.  To all my family and friends in Cuba who’s resilience and unbelievable nature to help one another has taught me so much, I thank you for letting me into your lives and for sharing so much, I will always love you.

I believe Photography can be used to improve the lives of others, and for the betterment of society.  An image can change the way we feel about something or someone, and it can create an everlasting impression.

Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to have had several opportunities to develop lifelong projects based on my passion for the environment and my place of birth, Cuba.  My first Documentary project, ‘Ninety Miles – an intimate journey’, is an emotional exploration based on my return to Cuba after 30 years, and the re encountering of the family I left behind. Photographs from this body of work have been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in NYC as part of a group exhibit ‘Clues to Identity’, and selected images are held in their permanent education collection.   Other exhibits include the Batik Gallery in Barcelona Spain, Soho Photo in Manhattan and The George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University.

Education has played a major role in my development and over the course of nine years, I’ve studied Fine Art Black and White film Photography under the guidance of Master Printer and Artist, Chuck Kelton.   During this time, I studied archival printing methods, toning and other darkroom techniques.   I shoot film all the time and develop and hand print all my work, not because it’s better than other mediums, but because I can’t see myself doing it any other way.  

Jorge Luis Monteagudo

201 - 406 - 8436

Website coming soon.

All work from this project was shot on film using various cameras and lenses.  The film was developed in my personal darkroom and all images are printed by hand using traditional silver methods.  Each image is printed on fiber based paper which is then hand toned in selenium for archival purposes.   Final images are then documented and editioned.

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