Road to Havana

Road to Havana, Words and Images by Greta Kirkwood Andresen (Hardback published 2011 –ISBN 978-82-303-1883-6).

Road to Havana, published in 2011, is a deepfelt, poetic and at times satirical story of a city in decay in more than one way. Greta Kirkwood Andresen’s many faceted, deeply insightful narratives of discovery, combined with her decisive photographic eye, create an unforgettable experience for the viewer almost like being present there ourselves.

“This powerful and tragically beautiful collection of photographs, narrative and poetry in Road to Havana is a must read for those who want to better understand the real Cuba. The poetry complements the lost and tragic tone of the photos perfectly, and the narrative describes and captures the brokenness of Cuba and the Cuban people. This is not the picture most of the world has of Cuba and I applaud Ms Andresen for her authentic portrayal of the Cuban people and their suffering:” Cecilia Samartin Exiled Cuban/American writer/ psychologist/ renowned for her novels Broken Paradise, La Peregrina and Doña Maria.

“The vulnerability of a single European female in a seedy and decaying Havana that is so graphically portrayed in the journal, poems and photographs of Greta Kirkwood’s compelling book, is a far cry from the romantic optimism of documentaries such as Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club. In fact the Cuba we see here is a world of struggling survivors, men on the make (both financially and sexually) and a third world environment of patched and breaking technologies, part of the aftermath of economic collapse when the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe ceased trade after the demise of communism. Greta’s story is an overwhelming one-at first seduced by the slow energy and rhythms of the island, and its fecund tropical feeling, which always seem on the edge of breakdown”; Martin Rieser (Professor of Digital Creativity/Media Artist, England).

“Greta Kirkwood Andresen takes us, the viewer and reader, on a very personal and honestly empathic trip to Havana, Cuba, in some ways obviously a pretty depressing place to visit. Looking at her pictures and reading her story is almost like stepping inside her nightmare, living inside it, for a brief moment, a nightmare we can easily wish away by closing the book and looking at something pleasant. The city does not tempt me; nor does it awaken my curiosity. No. I am happy enough just reading Greta’s story and looking at her very honest photographs. Happily sad”; Dan Young (American photographer, lived and worked in Norway b.1938-2014).

# Norwegian kroner 15,- from the sale of each book goes to support Human Rights Watch, one of the leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.

With Cecilia Samartin, Oslo 2012