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By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Dissident Cuban author, photographer, and pioneering blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo offers a suite of surreal, irony-laden photographs and texts from his local urban. His "diary of dystopia"—an unforeseen fusion of pictures and words—brings us toward Havana's scaffolded and crumbling facades, ramshackle waterfronts, and teeming human our bodies. during this ebook, as attractive and bleak as Havana itself, Pardo courses us throughout the relics and fables of an exhausted Revolution within the waning days of Castro's Cuba.


"It is tough to seize in pictures the soul of a panorama or a urban, probably simply because they do not have one on my own yet many. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo's photos, and the commentaries they're followed with, trap whirlwinds of souls and provide them to us in such manner that our personal soul is transformed." –Fernando Savater

"Some [photographs] have a sly humor, others an summary beauty...Mr. Pardo Lazo resists any effortless categorization."...

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Additional resources for Abandoned Havana

Sample text

If God had a name in Havana, it would be Gilma Madera. She was the woman who gave birth to His Marble Son with her own hands. She was the mother and midwife of the Christ of Havana Bay, her sixty-foot, three-hundred-and-fifty–ton baby who looks toward Havana’s cathedral. The Catholic hierarchy was uneasy inaugurating it; with sensual lips and noble, macho forearms, it was a Christ too carnal. His mane may have anticipated Lennon’s, but he lacked the Beatle’s psychedelic glasses, and perhaps because of this he was soon blind.

He was stoic, a hero of the home and not of the despotic plazas of the proletariat. He was contemptuous of Fidel and died at eighty-one on Fidel’s seventy-fourth birthday. He warned me not to talk about politics so much in public. Dionisio Manuel was right: all around me were spies. Our poverty in the nineties nearly pushed him out into the street to look for a few centavos above his burlesque pension of five dollars a month. My only consolation is that I managed to stop him. My father never had to drag himself through the abandonment of the Cuban streets or suffer police harassment for reselling flowers or newspapers without a beggar’s license.

The businesses are mostly the poorest of the state chain stores, those offering subsidized services in Cuban pesos rather than hard currency. Each summer downpour brings the tragedy of new building collapses. Theatrical ceilings and ancient neon signs need to be shored up; they are the last memories of our Republican capitalism so easily erased by the Revolution determined, from the very beginning, to expel the merchants not from the temple but from the market. Mount is a death threat, a mountain with no tomorrow.

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