Kodak in Cuba

Late 1999, having sailed ‘Daze Off’ from the Jumentos and never known about Cuba before, I had been photographing everything I could fit on my new digital Kodak – hundreds of shots fit neatly on a sliver of a chip. Looking well like a tourist, I was approached by a chubby Cuban man working the pavement of Santigo de Cuba with a very antiquated Eastman Kodak box camera complete with silver nitrate slide and black hood. He asked me in ‘Spanglish’ if I desired to be photographed and whilst declining graceously I pointed out that OUR cameras were both KODAK. I showed the KODAK logo and he noticed the illuminated picture of himself I had just taken. He couldn’t quite grasp what MY Kodak was doing but as soon as I showed him another picture of himself (squinting into his antique) like a slide show on the rear tiny TV screen – he jumped back in absolute horror and total disbelief, with his palm on his forehead, I think that day his world collapsed, for he asked me to demonstrate taking more photo’s, his eyes were wide, his mouth open and he was basically ‘resigning’ in quick Spanish/Cuban astonishment. Although I winkled a smile from him whislt moving away, I had left this man saddened greatly by the new world encroaching his proffesion, what he took hours to acquire and develop – I took in less than 10 seconds……..
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