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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

17.11.2015

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For the German photographer Volker Figueredo, Havana has become both the inspiration for his photography as well as his second home. Using an M9-P he captures both typical and unusual life situations in the Cuban capital and surroundings – such as, for example, his Cámara de Tortura series (LFI 2/2015).


“I had spent over half a year in Cuba when I found my next project while on a photographic foray in October, 2014. I get bored by the commonplace, superficial motifs you see of the city: I wanted to go deeper; I wanted my photos to show the other Cuba – the true soul of Cuba!

On one of my excursions I went into the Barrio Chino, a district of Havana that isn’t normally on any tourist route. It was just before lunchtime when I noticed a number of muscle-packed men disappearing into a cellar one after the other. After a time, they would re-emerge into the daylight, covered in sweat.

My curiosity was aroused. I followed their tracks and found myself in a dark, dank room, full of body-building equipment, that had been soldered together by hand out of pieces of rusty iron. I politely asked the doorkeeper if I could take some pictures, which he reluctantly agreed to. There was an ancient wind machine in a corner on the dirt-packed floor, which produced a unique melange of odours combining the smell of the sweaty athletes and the musty air of the damp cellar.

The scene reminded me of Guantanamo, which is also in Cuba. However, the men is this torture chamber inflict suffering on themselves willingly, to achieve their ideal of beauty. That’s why I thought the title Cámara de Tortura worked very well!

The picture shown here is the cover photo for the project and, in my opinion, emphasizes the surreal world of a decades-old, body-building culture that could only exist in Cuba’s underground scene.”

The Cámara de Tortura series remains on display up until November 30, 2015, within the framework of the Med Photo Fest in Sicily.

Further information available at: www.mediterraneum4.it and www.leicahavana.com.
© Volker Figueredo Véliz

Volker Figueredo Véliz

Born Volker Büffel in Zweibrücken in 1953, Figueredo lives in Germany and Cuba. He trained in business and for 37 years worked as IT sales representative and specialist for storage solutions at IBM Germany. A self-taught photographer, he will soon be offering workshops in Havana.

www.figueredophotoshavana.com
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