Photography exhibition provides a look at Cuba through the faces of its people

Lisa Di Giacomo couldn't not take pictures during two recent trips to Cuba. She's a photographer, of course, but beyond that, “Cuba is so visually overwhelming,” she said in a recent interview at a Downtown coffee shop.

“Cubans generally love to be photographed. They are proud of their country and culture,” said Di Giacomo, an adjunct professor of photography at Columbus State Community College.

The Columbus-based photographer walked the streets of Havana and Santiago each morning, capturing images of the people against backdrops of daily activities. The resulting photos document life after the easing of travel restrictions by the Obama Administration, but amid the reversal of many of those initiatives by the Trump Administration — not to mention facing the significance of non-Castro leadership for the first time in generations.

“I didn't want to make a political comment, but more have conversations,” Di Giacomo said, adding that while she sees the body of work in “Portraits of Cuba,” on exhibit in the City Center Gallery at Urban Arts Space through Aug. 4, as documentary, “there is definitely a point of view here.”