Tria Giovan first traveled to Cuba in 1990. Over the next six years she took twelve month-long trips, traversing the island numerous times, and making more than 25,000 images. Immersing herself in Cuba’s history, literature, and politics, she photographed interiors of homes and businesses, city streets, rural landscapes, signs and billboards, and, most of all, the people, creating a compelling body of work that captures the subtleties and layered complexities of day-to-day Cuba born from complete engagement and informed perspective.
'Cuba: The Elusive Island', published by Harry N. Abrams in 1996—a collector’s item—first brought together 100 of these images, along with a selection of writings by some of Cuba’s most important writers. Twenty years later, Giovan re-edited the images, while working to preserve the original 6 x 9 color negatives. Through this intensive re-examination, a new, more complex view of the historical significance of this work has emerged. Images previously disregarded or missed now stand out as a record of elements that no longer exist, and of a Cuba poised on the brink of change.
The selected images featured in 'The Cuba Archive', many of which have never previously been shown, reveal Cuba at a pivotal point in its fascinating history, and bear witness to an inimitable, resilient, and complex country and people.