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Havana blues

Rodrigo Moya took quite a dive to keep his ideology in sight. Back in the 1970s, “the corrupt Mexican government co-opted journalists”, says the 76-year-old photographer on phone from his home outside Mexico City.

columns Updated: Jan 08, 2011 02:08 IST
Amitava Sanyal

Rodrigo Moya took quite a dive to keep his ideology in sight. Back in the 1970s, “the corrupt Mexican government co-opted journalists”, says the 76-year-old photographer on phone from his home outside Mexico City. Translated by his wife Susan Flaherty, he says the state “paid photographers and writers” to portray Mexico Shining. But the lifelong Communist would have none of it. Rather than shoot the lives of commonfolk as he used to, he dived into underwater photography and even put together a journal on it.

Earlier in his career he had been at the right place in the right time. In Cuba during the revolution of 1964. Apart from getting up close with the leaders, inspired by American documentarists such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, he trained his lens on the people on the streets. The curated result of that passionate effort is a travelling show that’s now in Delhi.

Does he think those days’ ideology has a place in today’s shifting world? Snap comes the answer: “Communism really doesn’t exist anymore.”

‘Cuba Mia’ is showing at Instituto Cervantes, 48 Hanuman Road (at the back of Park Hotel), till January 28; 11.30 am to 7.30 pm (except Mondays).

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