Carros de Cuba Calendar Highlights Cuban Automotive Culture
Photography by Piotr Degler Jablonsky
New year, new calendar, new places to explore. Degler’s printed-in-Italy calendar brings it all together for us in their 2015 Collector’s Edition by showcasing Carros de Cuba, a stylishly curated collection of automotive images that pay tribute to the “cars that have survived over half a century on the island thanks to the inventiveness of the Cuban people.”
On December 18, 2014, President Obama announced a historic change in US-Cuba relations. Although many sanctions are still in place, this announcement marks the beginning of greater diplomacy between the United States and Cuba, and a promise for increased trade and travel. The embargo, called el bloqueo by Cubans, is a set of travel, investment, and economic restrictions that have been in place since the sixties. These sanctions have isolated the island and contributed to the impoverished conditions and lack of freedoms Cuba’s citizens have lived with for decades. Until now. Welcome to 2015, the year that diplomacy and modernity will open passage to an island filled with classic automotive treasure.
According to award-winning automotive photographer Piotr Degler Jablonski, the opportunity to photograph los carros de Cuba is a dream he’s held for over a decade: “For ten years I had been dreaming of visiting this photographic paradise. It was something I felt inside me. Ten years longing to capture the country through its almendrones (vintage taxis), Buicks, Cadillacs and Studebakers…”
Why such an intense fascination with Cuba’s vehicular life? Piotr Degler Jablonski explains that to discuss Cuba is to discuss their cars. “When in 1959 a young Castro decreed a law to prevent the importation of cars, he could not see the great favor [he] made [to] us all who are passionate about the four wheels. Unwittingly, he bequeathed us a full pre-revolutionary treasure…” The treasure is now ours to admire, to hang on our walls, until our own travels bring us to the island of Cuba.