The Idea of Cuba

Alex Harris

February 16, 2012

The speaker stands in front of an audience and is speaking while making hand gestures.

Event Description

Photographer Alex Harris traveled to Cuba with one purpose in mind: to take photographs that would evoke the tangled relationship between Cuba and the United States. But once on the island, Harris became fascinated by all the statues of José Martí and began to immerse himself in Martí's writings and ideas. On subsequent trips, Harris considered Martí's ideas about the ideal Cuban nation as a foil for his own photographs of contemporary life on the island.


Alex Harris is a professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Documentary Studies at Duke University and the author of 14 books including The Idea of Cuba, (2007), University of New Mexico Press. His photographs have been collected and exhibited widely, most recently at the J. Paul Getty Museum for the exhibition: “A Revolutionary Project, Cuba from Walker Evans to Now.”