“Eyes on Cuba,” A Conversation with Alex Harris and Ruth Behar at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Sol and Cuba, Old Havana, looking north from Alberto Rojas's 1951 Plymouth, Havana May 23, 1998. Photograph by Alex Harris

On Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m., Alex Harris will participate in “Eyes on Cuba,” a conversation at the Getty Museum with Ruth Behar, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan and author of An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba. They will discuss how their respective projects give voice to Cubans and express the poetry of life on the island through words and images. Admission is free (reservation required).

Eyes on Cuba: A Conversation with Alex Harris and Ruth Behar
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m.
J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, Los Angeles, California

The event is held in conjunction with the exhibition, A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now, opening next month at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and which will include photographs by Alex Harris, a founder of the Center for Documentary Studies and a professor of the practice of public policy and documentary studies at Duke. The exhibition, which will show the Getty’s Walker Evans photographs from Cuba for the first time, looks at three critical periods in the island nation’s history as witnessed by photographers before, during, and after the country’s 1959 Revolution.

A Revolutionary Project juxtaposes Walker Evans’s 1933 images from the end of the Gerardo Machado dictatorship with views by contemporary photographers Virginia Beahan (American, b. 1946), Alex Harris (American, b. 1949), and Alexey Titarenko (Russian, b. 1962), who have explored Cuba since the withdrawal of Soviet support in the 1990s. A third section bridging these two eras presents pictures by Cuban photographers who participated in the country’s 1959 Revolution, including Alberto Korda, Perfecto Romero, and Osvaldo Salas.

A student of Walker Evans at Yale, Harris is the author of, among other books, The Idea of Cuba (University of New Mexico Press/Center for Documentary Studies), a powerful evocation of life on the island and an original meditation on the nature of documentary photography.

A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now
May 17–October 2, 2011
J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, Los Angeles, California

Read more about the exhibition here