Fascinating and paradoxical, in its surreal present state the country once known as the “Pearl of the Antilles” pulses like no other place in the world. Straddling between socialism and capitalism, decay and glamour, riotous exterior colors and melancholy interiors, Cuba is racing in many opposite directions towards an uncertain future. With the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, the easing of travel restrictions and the onset of commercial flights to the once forbidden island, the opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana, and a historic trip to Cuba by President Obama in March, Cuba is once again an island of light and song and hope.
To bear witness and be present as a nation rockets forward on the winds of change is every photographer’s dream. Explore, discover, and photograph Cuba with our experienced team to unwrap the layers of Cuban identity, history, culture, and politics, and gain a comprehensive overview of a strikingly unique society on the cusp of difficult transitions.
True to our values as an inspirational resource for photographers, Santa Fe Workshops is building bridges between our two nations and peoples via our cultural exchange programs that focus on exploration, discovery, and connection through photography.
After six years, and having taken over 1,000 photographers to Cuba, we are a seasoned leader in overcoming the language barriers and navigating the complexities of travel in this communist country. Kip Brundage, Director of Cuba Programs for Santa Fe Workshops, and our team of Cuban photographers share their expert knowledge of the country and help provide an authentic experience away from the tourist centers.
Each program is led by a world-renowned photographer who contributes their insights and photographic knowledge. Our small group sizes encourage compelling educational and photographic visits to dance and artist studios, ballet rehearsals, local homes, boxing gyms, privately-owned farms, and specially arranged musical performances, to name a few of our well-planned events and locations that we have unique access to.
In alliance with Cuba’s premier photographic organization, Fototeca de Cuba, and its director, Nelson Ramírez, our unique programs allow the U.S. participants to learn about Cuba's long and colorful history and engage directly with Cubans from all walks of life.
We offer educational programs in locations that span the breadth of the country, from the westernmost province of Pinar del Rio to the remote outpost of Baracoa on the far eastern tip of the island. In iconic Havana, we offer extensive programs for photographers and writers. (Visit the Writers Lab section of our website for details on our writing programs in Cuba). The Oriente trips visit the less-traveled, eastern cities of Santiago, Baracoa and Bayamo. Our Cuba Unplugged programs, limited to no more than 6 photographers, explore small cities and towns including Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Viñales, Remedios, and Santa Clara.
New in 2017, we open a campus in the colonial city of Camagüey for focused photography programs with Jennifer Spelman, Eddie Soloway, Arthur Meyerson, and Keith Carter. Settled in 1528, culturally sophisticated Camagüey is Cuba’s third largest city and a place of beauty, culture, and artistic tradition. The city’s delightful historic center, considered the largest and most well preserved on the island, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Camagüey is well known for its labyrinthine layout of narrow, twisting streets and irregular blocks that surprise and inspire travelers with its hidden architectural gems, small plazas, and friendly residents.
Join us and experience the ever-changing enigma known as Cuba. You’ll discover that Cuba represents not just another travel opportunity, but the chance to become richer in thought, spirit, and vision, both as a person and as an artist.
True to the requirements of a people-to-people General License with U.S. Treasury Department, our programs in Cubafocus on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives with our cameras.