Abandoned Havana

Dissident Cuban writer, photographer, and pioneering blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo presents a collection of surreal, irony-laden photos and texts from his native city. His “diary of dystopia”—an unexpected fusion of images and words—brings us closer to Havana’s scaffolded and crumbling facades, ramshackle waterfronts, and teeming human bodies. In this book, as beautiful and bleak as Havana itself, Pardo guides us through the relics and fables of an exhausted Revolution in the waning days of Castro’s Cuba.

It is difficult to capture in images the soul of a landscape or a city, perhaps because they don’t have one alone but many. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo’s photographs, and the commentaries they are accompanied with, capture whirlwinds of souls and offer them to us in such way that our own soul is transformed. They teach us how to see inside out and toward the depth of things, without slipping on the surface of things. Fernando Savater, filósofo

Some [photographs] have a sly humor, others an abstract beauty… Mr. Pardo Lazo resists any easy categorization. David González, The New York Times Lens Blog

He is giving us the poetics of the city that is not touristy, nostalgic, or exotic… He is giving people a way to read the politics of daily occurrences… He juxtaposes the eternal beauty of the city and the real political urgencies of the moment. Ana M. Dopico, New York University