Cuba, Havana, Snapshots

Street Art In Havana.

March 21, 2012
Street Art in Havana.

Street Art in Havana.

Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” Banksy

I’ve spent the better part of many holidays getting to know a city by walking around and admiring historic architecture found in castles and cathedrals or resting in a park filled with trees and fountains. I never once thought about becoming more intimate with the culture of a city by observing it through street art and graffiti. Whether it be a simple illustration that makes you smile, a political statement that challenges your beliefs or a work of art so amazing it takes your breath away, taking in street art is now a must for me whenever I travel.

I took this photo while I was in Havana about a year as I whizzed by on a carriage ride through the city. I love the fun theme of the art and thought it an interesting contrast to the crumbling dilapidated building in the background.

* This post was submitted to the Budget Travelers Sandbox weekly Travel Photo Thursday series where bloggers are provided an opportunity to showcase their travel photos.

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  • Reply Andrea March 22, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    I’m glad graffiti is becoming more accepted – I’m not a fan of tagging at all but some of the gorgeous mural art that goes up, it’s criminal to destroy it. Such a democratizing form of artwork as well.

  • Reply Muza-chan March 22, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Interesting graffiti

  • Reply Michael March 22, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Graffiti can be very interesting and entertaining. There are quite a few very good ones in our streets in Montmartre in Paris too. But the City Hall officials do not agree and have them painted over a few days after they’ve seen the light of day. Pity, really.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 22, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      @Andrea – It is very democratizing! I’ve come to love it in all shapes and forms.

      @Michael – Agree. What a pity they get painted over! I’d be there with my camera all the time if I lived in Paris.

  • Reply Bob R March 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    There’s lots of great graffiti everywhere you go it seems and I’m always drawn to it. That said, I do wish that lots of today’s taggers would put just a little more thought into where the fine line lies between art/expression and vandalism.

  • Reply Sophie March 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I like the Banksy quote. Street art adds a certain vibrancy to a city, I think.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 22, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      @Bob – Me too. My Instagram feed is filled with snapshot after snapshot of street art and graffitt. Agree on your last point as well. There is only so much I want to see of male genatalia!

      @Sophie – I love Banksy in general! Thought it gave a good lead in. 🙂

  • Reply Sabrina March 22, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    What an interesting quote. I think some nice graffiti really can make a place better looking; I also think it can make things look trashy in some areas though. Always depends on how and where it’s done.

  • Reply InsideJourneys March 22, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Old and new side by side. Love it!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 22, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      @Sabrina – Agree!

      @InsideJourneys – I love it too. I hope someday to return to Havana and explore more street art! This is sadly my only photo of street art from the city. 🙁

  • Reply Lei March 22, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    I love the quote too – and such a great photo. There is some real talent around. The only place that immediately comes to mind is Seville – with loads of graffiti – all beautifully done.

  • Reply Dick Jordan March 22, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    “Street art” lends itself to great photos.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      @Lei – Thanks! Hmmm, I would love to check out Seville. It’s on my long list of places to visit. 🙂

  • Reply Frank Myers :: Digital Artist March 22, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Very cool mural, hopefully I can see Cuba for myself sometime in the near future.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      @Frank – If you need some tips, please let me know! I love Havana.

  • Reply Mary @ The World Is A Book March 23, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    What a great quote! It’s such an interesting mural. I’m always drawn to street art and some places have made use of them well. Brussels has great wall murals. How lucky for you to visit Havana.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 23, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      @Mary – I have not been to Brussels yet .. well, only the airport. Will definitely have to check it out sometime too!

  • Reply Jenna March 25, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I agree–checking out the street art and getting a feel for a city that way is a must for me, too. I like that you got this great shot while passing by. I am constantly trying to snap photos of street art in Sao Paulo from the car. Not an easy task!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      @Jenna – I’m so jealous. Love to be in San Paulo right now. One day I plan to visit this beautiful city!

  • Reply Ayngelina March 25, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Ooh I love that Banksy quote.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      @Ayngelina – Me too! I really didn’t know much about him until I watched Exit Through the Giftshop last summer here in Berlin. He made me really come to appreciate street art and graffiti …

  • Reply Bob R March 26, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    This is really the only street art or mural shot you have from Havana? If so, you absolutely must return.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      @Bob – Yes! 🙁 For sure, I will return to Havana someday soon.

  • Reply Tristan Cuschieri April 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Catching up on your blog… Love the posts about street art! Keep up those rad photos!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      @Tristan – Thanks! I’ll be publishing another one soon about street art in Amsterdam and hopefully soon after ones on street art in Berlin, Budapest and Gdansk.

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