Leysis Quesada Vera

about Leysis

While Leysis was born in the city of Cienfuegos, her family soon settled in a town called Amarillas, in the Cuban province of Matanzas, where later she would base an important part of her photography work.

Leysis studied English with the desire to become a teacher and worked as a professor for three years in a junior high school in Havana. When the Maine Photographic Workshops came to Havana in 1999, she was no longer teaching and used to visit the Fototeca voften with her cousin Lazaro Miranda, who was a well-known photographer.

Leysis began seriously taking photos in January 2000. At the beginning she was inspired by her cousin Lazaro’s work of beautiful interiors. Later she studied the master photographers and loved Sebastian Salgado and Sally Mann. Leysis has always been drawn to the life of the “campesinos” (people from the countryside) in Cuba, and much of her work is inspired by their way of life, how they live, inside their homes, their daily lives. Leysis has two beautiful daughters they are the most important motivation for her images. Her work revolves around her family, friends, and home, and now is a reflection of her own daily life.

Leysis is a founding member of Jíbaro Photos and has exhibited work extensively internationally. During the pandemic, Leysis created a project in her neighborhood, Los Sitios, that was supported by the Magnum Foundation. She was commissioned by the Annenburg Space for Photography in 2017 and her work is included in collections in the International Center for Photography (ICP) and the Getty Museum.

Leysis has collaborated as an instructor and an assistant with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Havana since 2010.

Workshops taught by Leysis Quesada Vera

Dance in Havana

with Jennifer Spelman and Leysis Quesada Vera

February 14 – 21, 2023