In Spanish , this means to Look. It is something you hear quite often on the streets, in urban or rural settings in Cuba. It is their expression to get your attention and well... they certainly did, eventually it became my mantra and reminder to do just that...TO LOOK. It was also one my intentions for my month long trip to Cuba. To be mindful, and to fully observe, feel, listen and experience all that surrounded me. Like a modern day flâneur. Flaneur is a french word that I came across last year. I fell in love with it knowing that it describes wonderfully my actions and feelings when I was in urban and rural landscapes abroad and even here in my own city. Charles Baudelaire described it beautifully
“The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world— impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not—to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.
My second intention , was to capture all that I had seen and choose my way to express it . Through the mediums of photography and painting. I had a incredible trip because I chose to go with the flow, to be adventurous, and set outside the box. To also take any opportunity to experience something new and get to know the local people and their lives. Lastly I made a conscious effort to be present. There really is a lot of see, if you just take the time to look....