Imagine being unable to return to your homeland for thirty-six years. What would you do if you finally got a chance to go back?
In 1996, after travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba were relaxed, Cuban exile Tony Mendoza answered that question. Taking his cameras, notebooks, and an unquenchable curiosity, he returned for his first visit to Cuba since summer of 1960, when he emigrated with his family at age eighteen. In this book he presents over eighty evocative photographs accompanied by a beautifully written text that mingles the voices of many Cubans with his own to offer a compelling portrait of a resilient people awaiting the inevitable passing of the socialist system that has failed them.
His photographs and interviews bear striking witness to the hardships and inequalities that exist in this workers' "paradise," where the daily struggle to make ends meet on an average income of eight dollars a month has created a longing for change even in formerly ardent revolutionaries. At the same time, Cuba—Going Back is an eloquent record of a personal journey back in time and memory that will resonate with viewers and readers both within and beyond the Cuban American community. It belongs on the shelves of anyone who values excellent photography and well-crafted prose.
- Cuba—Going Back