University of Mississippi

Artist’s Talk and Reception – Bob Michaels

February 15, 2013 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Barnard Observatory
Center for the Study of Southern Culture(662)915-5993E-mail

Cuba—People: A Gammill Gallery Exhibition

Photographs and text by Bob Michaels

Bob Michaels’s photography, which focuses on the people of rural Cuba, will be on exhibition in the Gammill Gallery in Barnard Observatory until February 21. On Friday, February 15 from 3:30 – 5:00, Michaels will give a lecture on his work in Barnard Observatory, with a reception to follow. 

Adapted from the artist’s statement:

“I made these photos during 12 trips to Cuba, from 2009 to 2012. I visit the parts of Cuba that the tourists do not explore, includingsmaller, rural communities. My photos give some insight into a culture seldom understood by Americans. It is a culture basically unchanged by political events of the last half-century. Economic problems result in a way of life reminiscent of many years ago—a way of life without the influence of the Internet, mass-market television, advertising, large stores, and easy transportation. The photos show this social, happy, community existence.

“There are similarities between this Cuban culture and small Southern places. The economic resourcefulness, the close-knit communities, the influence of religion, and the pleasure derived from the basic parts of life are comparable.

“I travel alone, with limited language skills, sometimes not knowing exactly where I am. I travel as the Cubans do—in the backs of trucks, on buses and horse-drawn wagons, and catching rides in private vehicles. I always stay in families’ rented rooms rather than in hotels so that I can continue to learn more of the day-to-day life of the people I’m photographing.”