“Gente de mi barrio” (People From my Neighborhood) by Tito Alvarez

“Gente de mi barrio” (People From my Neighborhood) by Tito Alvarez

Tito Avarez was a Cuban photographer who whose work began in the early 1960s. One of his more noted series was Gente de mi Barrio or People From My Neghborhood. I became aware of Tito through my friend, Rufino del Valle, who brought some of Tito’s negatives when he visited Appalachian State University eight years ago. When  reviewing my own photographs from Cuba I was struck how the  barrios had not changed much over the long span of the Revolutionary government’s reign. In Cuba I have always stayed at the same place, a Casa Particular, in Central Havana. I have done most of my photography within walking distance which at times extends to 5-10 miles from home. I thought that I woud try to find images that would make interesting diptychs -one image from Tito, the second from me. The diptych is a new concept for me. It seems like such an easy thing to do. When I look at the  Ralph Gibson’s diptychs, I begin to realize how complicated this can be. In most of Gibson’s books  two photos in a spread share some relationship and are essentially diptychs. Gibson has published at least one book of  diptychs, Overtones, and I find it fascinating. These are a starting point for me. I am working to improve  the series of 12 diptychs and will post new ones that are improved. I  invite and hope for criticism and advice.

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