Little Havana Statement

“Speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting”

Milan Kundera, Slowness. 

In the beginning I had no purpose. I did not know what I was doing. I started walking in Little Havana aimlessly. I will get a camera, a few rolls of film and just go for a stroll under the unforgiven Miami heat. Being an immigrant and in my case, an immigrant from a dictatorship implies leaving everything, or almost everything behind, and forget. Some of us leave in the comfort of an airplane, others rush through the violent sea at night, and some others cross the border aided but ruthless “coyotes”, that could turn on them at any minute. Leaving altogether is a challenge. Having to adapt to a new life is difficult. One of the things that all immigrants from underdeveloped countries have in common, is a complete unawareness of the velocity in which life in a major city is carried. With time, some of us start to forget, and others do a great job in preserving the culture and traditions. I am from the group that forgets easy. My capacity for memory is limited. Is one of the things that drove me to Photography. Is this flaw in me that drives me to take photos. My photography is a compendium of life and, as I attempt to show a direct relationship to my environment, I stablish a bond with objects, spaces, and human emotions which is key to my craft. This project is a direct attempt to preserve memory. The memory of family, places and events that have transcended in my life. Is a systematic and slow gathering of information to keep memory alive. Every image is taken with a careful approach and a thought-out process. Nothing is rushed. I use photographic film which is later developed by myself to circumvent the rush and sometimes carelessness of the digital medium. Diving into the analogue world serves me as a tool to stop time, to slow the fading of homes, facades, buildings. It is also a prayer for Little Havana, a place dear to my heart. Using a composition approach that exalts the beauty and color of the many buildings and houses, in a sort of worship reverence to a place that took me in a when I was lost. Is my way of saying “thank you” and helping Little Havana stand still and unforgettable. 

Rainy Silvestre

Miami, FL 2023

Using Format