By Julia Portela Ponce de León
The town of Hershey, to the east of Havana, has once again become a focus for Cuban photographer Alfredo Sarabia’s creative process. His relationship with this space began in 2013 when he shot his Model Town (Pueblo Modelo) series. These images told the story of a community founded by US industrialist and philanthropist Milton Hershey, who brought his concept of a model town to Cuba having previously founded one in Pennsylvania in the US.
This time round Pueblo Modelo 2018 takes us back to this place with a new focus, following Hurricane Irma’s visit. The visual effects achieved through digital techniques are constructed using light as an expressive tool to generate a perspective that unfolds on different levels. Reflections and shadows, objects lit up or overshadowed, create a spatial architecture that provokes. This is a challenge that is always set up by the passing of time, its traces eliminated by this chance event that leaves us with a devastated horizon.
Hershey as a beginning and an endpoint of destinies does not represent the mere physical displacement of the visitor, rather it becomes a trajectory that evokes the unknown and the uncertainty of endless fantasies. May Sarabia, through his lens, continue to keep us in touch with this old town that persists in challenging us.