A newly married couple in Havana. PHOTOS: MANUELLO PAGANELLI
A newly married couple in Havana. PHOTOS: MANUELLO PAGANELLI

A Masterful Portrait of Cuba

Visiting Cuba is easier these days, but if you haven’t time for that right now, you can still take a good look around the island via a new coffee-table book from BJT photographer Manuello Paganelli. Called Cuba, A Personal Journey, 1989–2016, the volume showcases 115 of his most striking black-and-white images of weddings, funerals, classic American cars, festivals, fishing villages, political rallies, and more.

The photographer, who is Cuban on his mother’s side, accompanies the pictures with an essay titled “My Cuban Experience.” He has made more than 60 visits to the island, starting when he tracked down long-lost relatives with the help of a 1953 letter and continuing until after the restoration of diplomatic relations with the U.S.

Paganelli, who was mentored by the renowned Ansel Adams, first exhibited his images of Cuba in a 1995 show that the Washington Post said offered a “brilliant window on a land and people too long hidden from the North American eye.” Besides shooting the photos for BJT stories on such luminaries as Erin Andrews, Paul Anka, and John Paul DeJoria, he has provided cover images for Time, Life, People, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, and many other well-known magazines.