Chasing the Cuban identity.

Mehregan is an Iranian lost soul who dabbles in various activities. You may next hear from her as an economist, cook, writer, dancer, or an astronaut. It was in Cuba that she was inspired to begin photography. In the series of photos that follow (titled Cubanismo), she pursues the Cuban identity and attempts to draw it out, while acknowledging the limitations of an outside perspective to grasp this cultural counterpoint.


Cuba, la llave del Nuevo Mundo (the key to the New World) as it was called in the 16th century. Now a trip there evokes a sense of nostalgia, and not only because of the passing 1954 Chevy’s. The Cuban culture once quietly seeped into the West and left a romantic imagery of a Caribbean island; the sultry air, the music, the rum, the liquid accent of Cubanos… the quintessentials of the Cuban experience that draw foreigners in. This was where Che came to life and Hemingway composed his legend.


Within the walls that Kennedy and Fidel built and Obama and Raul tore down, Cuba carried on with life as usual. The Chevy was repainted and runs on a Mitsubishi engine. And Cuba continues to export romanticism, now of a revolution. The Cuban revolution was branded with the face of Che, and the western youth, these infamous millennials, tired of the woes of capitalism, will be ready to eat it up. Cuba may still hold the key to a New World, a child conceived where the American imperialism and the Cuban revolution encounter.


Mehregan Ameri