Luthiers in Habana Vieja. Photo: Maité Fernández
Luthiers in Habana Vieja. Photo: Maité Fernández

Luthiers in Habana Vieja: what is there at the end of the stairs?

3 minutes / Maité Fernández

31.01.2020 / Reportages

I graduated from History at the University of Havana. At that time I felt very motivated to work everything related to the theater scene, in which I specialized later. I remember one of the things that fascinated me was about theater was its artisanal quality, the way it involves so many people to achieve the realization of a play. I was learning, and simultaneously took photography as a hobby; I had a semi-professional little camera with which I was recording the staging of some directors.

I get to photography empirically, which makes me research all the time. I'm interested in the photography of performing arts, I've been documenting the world of the stage for years, whether it's dance, theater or music. I love feeling free in a concert, moving around, looking for different angles, but one of the things I enjoy most is the emotion and interaction that occurs between musicians or with the audience. It is a second and it is unrepeatable. That is why I think that of all the artistic manifestations, music is the most integral, and is a mediator between the spiritual world and the world of the senses. I can't conceive the beginning of a day without hearing some music: when I wake up, while I walk. I declare myself an irremediable melomaniac. 

The luthiers workshop in Habana Vieja is the beginning of a project that I have in my hands and to which I want to dedicate my most beautiful energies and every effort possible. I was delighted the first time I was in that place since the very moment I climbed that spiral staircase waxed and somewhat enigmatic. Then, for the restoration work carried out by a multidisciplinary team. I remember scanning everything, looking at the tools, the ropes, the handles and the virgin wood that was just beginning to take shape. 

I think that the main motivation has been music, as a topic to be treated in this photo essay that I have just begun. The process of photographing it has taken unexpected paths, as I had a clear idea of using natural light and fragments or details of the instrument, but once in situ , I have realized that there are many paths and I have focused on two perspectives: one with a more personal approach, and the another based on the restoration process.

Maité Fernández

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