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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Umbra International Photography Awards 2020 - 1st Place Portfolio - People and 1st Place Street Life

Just received news from the Umbra International Photography Awards 2020 that I have clinched the 1st Place in both the Portfolio - People (Professional) and Black & White - Street Life (Professional) categories with my multi-award winning Vintage Havana Series - 1957.

I am very happy each time a photo series becomes so well-recognised.

Two other series that had similar success were the Flowers of Ethiopia series and the Japanese Geisha series. Just shows the world that I am not a one hit wonder....and gives my friends a much more memorable photo to take home...

1957 is actually a collection of portraits and stories of my friends in Havana…

It all started with a chat on Facebook when one of my friends from Havana asked me to visit him again...I have 2 weeks of spare time and a little money so I thought why not?

I imagine the year to be 1957 again, when Havana was the world’s fourth most expensive city. According to the International Labour Organization, the average industrial salary in Cuba became the world’s eighth-highest in 1958, and the average agricultural wage was higher than in developed nations like Denmark, West Germany, Belgium or France. Cuba also had Latin America’s highest per capita consumption of meat, vegetables, cereals, automobiles, telephones and radios during this period.

In 2019, many vintage buildings still remain in Havana and many of my friends still play and live in such buildings. The buildings may be old and deteriorated, blemished by scars on their walls, with no signs of recent maintenance. Today, as the Castro era wanes, Cuba’s youth have their doubts, dreams and their stories…The country is still a far cry from its heyday, but It is now time to create new memories and new histories while revisiting and reevaluating old ones…

Titles of the photos:

Havana Dance Story

Havana Rebel Story

Havana Santeria Story

Havana Love Story

Havana Queen Story

Fidel's Ballerina

I believe I can Fly

A little bit of Bruce

And the link to the Umbra International Photography Awards 2020 website:

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