The revolution that shaped Cuba also isolated the island. Floating like a golden cage in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba stopped moving forward in the same pace as the rest of the world. The Cubans were forced to live a life of limitation, but for those outside, with the privilege to visit the island, Cuba has become a small paradise. Stopped in time since the 1950’s, Cuba offers its visitors a beauty that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, even though it now also shows signs of age and neglect.
Living in a country that has transformed itself so much through revolution, it is inevitable for its inhabitants to not show some rebellious character every now and then. In whatever way. Many of the boys from Havana have found an expression of their rebellious character with the photography of Kevin Slack. Kevin, working and living in Canada, is a frequent visitor of Cuba and has over the years made many friends here. His photography shows us a whole different beauty of Cuba, both physical as environmental, and he is able to capture not only the beauty of Cuba’s men, but also that so special nostalgic atmosphere you feel everywhere you go on the island. As he shows again with his portraits of Geannys.
“I wanted to take Geannys - an untamed creature of sex and sexuality - out of the city to the wild. I love Havana; and I love getting out of Havana. Privacy and space are commodities in Cuba, surely. However, Geannys had his motorbike and I had all my gear, and we ended up about half an hour out of the city, in what initially looked like wilderness but turned out to be farmland in a place called Ocho Vias (or Eight Views). Gratefully, the farmer, an affable man with skin accustomed to much tropical sun, was happy to let us use his space. And so we found the back of the farm, past one expansive and overgrown field with a single defiant sunflower, abandoned the motorbike, crawled under a barbed wire fence, and skidded down a hill.”
Kevin Slack offered Geannys a moment in which he could express himself. His yearning for freedom. And his physical beauty. They didn’t exactly find wilderness, but what they did find was privacy and space and an escape from the busy streets of Havana. And away from the noisy city, under a big blue sky, in the trees and in the watering hole, Kevin Slack was able to we set Geannys free, even if it was just for one afternoon. –BM-
Geannys is also the cover model for Kevin Slack’s 2013 Cuban Men wall calendar, available for purchase at Amazon, Kevin’s website and his Facebook page.
KEVIN SLACK | BEAUTIFULMAG