Tria Giovan is a New York based photographer and traveller. Her work has been published in Elle, Esquire, Harpers, G.Q and Vogue, among many other publications. Her many photography projects have led her to traverse the globe, and having grown up in the Caribbean, it was a pull to parts familiar that first led her to Cuba.

140114_Cuba 004

Between 1990 and 1996, Giovan explored the island over 12  one month-long trips, emerging with over 25,000 images; an incredible archive and time capsule of 90’s Cuba.

1992_Hav_ 010

Her desire to “understand what was behind the chimera of this enigmatic, isolated country.” Led to thoughtful subject exploration that captured the day-to-day subtleties of a country and the haunting permutations of empty rooms.

93BH_ 050

She photographed the subtleties and layered complexities of day-to-day Cuba against melancholy backdrops, with a refinement and sophistication that ground us in the recorded moment.

93AC_ 039

“The country’s cultural integrity, societal structures, and the ephemera of the Cuban Revolution seemed preserved, as if in amber, while its architectural legacy and infrastructure crumbled. There was an astonishing spirit and resourcefulness to the Cuban people.”

93AC_ 003

Giovan captured intimate images by immersing herself in her surroundings by “transcending stereotypes to embrace the vernacular and indigenous, creating a considered portrait of a place and people born of complete engagement and an informed perspective.”

93BH_ 069

“I photograph as a documentarian, wishing to preserve and to collect. I am drawn to subjects with a resonance that connects me to history, anchors me firmly in the present, and offers engagement in the external world and insight into my inner realm.”

92BC_ 009

“When compelled to photograph, I follow my impulses, allowing time and resolve to divulge the complexities of my subject matter. I aspire to intimacy, seeking to distill the essence of my subject, while defining and deciphering my personal iconography.”

Optica-Caibarien, Cuba_1992

After ceasing her multiple trips to Cuba in 1996, 100 of her images where brought together in ‘The Elusive Island’ published by Harry N. Abrams.

Tria Giovan Photography

20 years after the book, and “working with clarity only time can impart”, Giovan is working to reveal images which have never been shown.

93BC_ 045

She has spent the last two years re-editing the images, working to preserve the original 6 x 9 color negatives.

93AH_ 035

Many images, previously disregarded or missed initially now stand out as poignant, and as a record of elements that no longer exist and of a Cuba poised on the brink of change.

93BH_ 046

The final archive of images, much larger than the few examples here “capture Cuba at a pivotal point in its storied and fascinating history, while bearing witness to an inimitable, resilient and complex country and people.”

93BH_ 072

Facebook Comments
Total
59
Shares

Subscribe

Subscribe now to our newsletter

By checking this box, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our terms of use regarding the storage of the data submitted through this form.