Electrifying Photos of Cuba's Thriving Music Scene
Photographer Thomas Pratt's new book focuses on the everyday lives of rappers, drummers, and rumba groups in Santiago de Cuba.
All photos by Thomas Pratt.
The photographer Thomas Pratt was originally in Santiago de Cuba to document the activity of a small recording studio. He ended up spending his days jumping around the island nation's second-largest city, attending concerts, barbecues, street congas, and rehearsals. It's a place where USB sticks containing the latest in dancehall, hip-hop, and reggaeton are passed around the same rooms in which Santería and Yoruba rituals take place. And the jewelry and gold teeth worn by locals reference American rap culture as much as they reference the virgin goddess Oshun, Patroness of Cuba.
Set against a backdrop of Soviet-era concrete blocks and Spanish colonial churches, Pratt's new book, Música en Santiago de Cuba, is an ethnographic study of the city's rich culture, taking an inside look at the passionate and conflicted relationship between Cuban musicians and their homeland. See a selection of images from the book below.
Música en Santiago de Cuba is published by Spaghetti Press. You buy it here.
Thomas Pratt is a photographer based in London. You can follow his work here.