Home Front cover PHOTO ESSAYS About Letters Contact Back Issues Book Shop Contributors LIFE FORCE
The magazine of the photo-essay
June 2017 issue
by Helena de Braganca
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
I am Cuban
The untold stories of people’s lives away from the spotlight have always fascinated me.  As the child of Polish and Portuguese immigrants who left their respective homelands in search of lives more aligned with their desire to be a part of modern liberal western culture I have always maintained a certain perspective as an outsider looking in.  I was born in London, England in 1978 and after a few years my mother moved to the United States first to New Haven, Connecticut then to Princeton, New Jersey where I spent my formative years immersed in artistic pursuits.  My introspective nature and attention to detail, colors and shapes developed at an early age.  At age fifteen, I was compelled by a close friend to experiment with photography.  We put together a darkroom in my basement, and for the first time I experienced the magic of developing a print, the slow process of witnessing the black and white image appear on a silver gelatin print while the acrid smells of developer, stop and fixer baths clung to my skin and clothes.  Even as I used painting, practicing the violin and creating mosaic murals as a medium for my artistic expression, the strong desire to feel the camera and sense the darkroom drew me back to photography. 
At age twenty, I was greatly influenced by the movie “I Am Cuba,” a controversial and beautiful film by Mikhail Kalatozov created in 1964 about the lives of Cubans leading up to the revolution.  The surreal imagery mixed with the ability to channel intense human emotions inspired me to pursue a career in photography and planted a seed of desire to visit Cuba. 
Back to menu
"Plan B"  Clothing designers who reconstruct and redesign donated second hand clothing, Havana
18th Century Rooftop, Camaguey.
Amilkar Chakon Iznaga, Painter and Professor, Santa Clara.
Soap Opera music composer, Havana.
Young transvestite, Santa Clara.
Adolfo, rocker, and daughter, Eylen, Havana.
Teenager waiting for friends, Santiago de Cuba.
The morning after, Havana.
Friend of Edrey, Havana.
Alexis, Mechanic by day, rocker by night, Havana.
Grandfather sick with lung cancer, Cienfuegos.
Santera reading cards, Santiago de Cuba.
Resistenzia, Heavy metal rock band practice, Santa Clara.
Tommy Reyes, former dancer and activist, Havana.
Brenda and rats, Playas del Este, Havana.
Etian rapping in the mirror.
Transvestite with Boyfriend at  El Mejunje, Santa Clara.
Writer Pedro Juan Gutierrez in the stairwell leading up to his apartment, Havana.
Dancers from Danza Libra, Guantanamo.