Two vintage cars sit outside a crumbling movie theater. A narrow street drips with sunlight, its pastel facades and peeling shutters set against a saturated sky. A stray dog saunters past a wall painted with the words, “En cada barrio revolución,” a famous Cuban slogan translating as: “In every neighborhood, revolution.”
These scenes, captured by French photographer Helene Havard, will be familiar to those who have visited Havana. Yet the photos’ unnaturally vibrant hues — enhanced in post-production using imaging software — reimagine the Cuban capital as a sleepy paradise.
“Instead of seeing it as dark and decayed, I tried to imagine it a bit like a dream,” Havard said on the phone from French Polynesia, where she lives and works. “I tried to see (Cuba) in a very different way — to try to imagine it as something dreamier, because it’s not easy (living there).”
Her images spotlight the architectural traditions of Havana, a melting pot of French, Spanish and Moorish influences. The city is famed for its mix of Art Deco, neoclassical and baroque forms.
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