Until last summer most of my family existed only as stories told to me by my parents – long separated by policies made in Havana and Washington. There was no better place than the Cuba of my mother’s memories. The sunsets held longer, the fruits were sweeter and when it rained, it was in passing. She and her sisters fled Cuba in 1968. They have never returned. They left behind cousins, aunts and uncles, lives they might have led. All they took were clothes and memories made more precious by time and distance.

This project is deeply personal. I had never met the Cuban side of my family. None of them were able to leave and my mother and aunts were determined never return. They don’t want to tarnish their memories. I was the first person in my family to go to Cuba. The images are of connection and loss. Despite the time apart, new additions to the family, losses and pain this family, my family, remain connected in their shared trauma.

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