Saturday 15 January 2011

Cuba, On the Streets

Images Copyright and Courtesy of 'MEB'
Here at towers we recently received images from our gorgeous and ever so talented newly septuagenarian 'MEB'.  MEB is one of our covert and ever so kind eyes around the world.  'M' as she is so affectionately known to us, globe trots for hours, days and months in search of the latest and greatest from around the world - tough job for some hey?  OK seriously she really did pull out all the stops to seek out the latest gorgeous spaces and places from Cuba.  So where are they?  I hear you ask.  Well there are none (or at least only a few), save for a Paul and Shark - and lets face it who cares about brands like that anyway?  Ultimately there were very few.  As this site is about capturing the zeitgeist we have here some gorgeous images of some wonderful 1950's American cars that rattle around the streets of Havana, many often now hand painted, but always treated like the matriarch of the family - with the greatest respect and highly treasured. 
On the one hand this is a great 1950's American theme park of a city, on the other, nearly everyone is so desperately poor.  If any of you remember Brezhnev's Russia, particularly from the 1980's when tourists could only shop in designated stores and Moscowvites really did come up to you in the street and ask if they could buy the clothes you were stood in (yes, they really did) or the Levis adverts of young males trying to sneak in pairs of Denims into the USSR, this is the same story but now its 2011 - bonkers, surely?  How can a Government - well dictatorship - allow its people to live so desperately and from our reports, so poorly?  As we see revolt after revolt by the people of these types of countries from around the world (and rightly so), it can surely only be a matter of time before these regimes explode and implode into some kind of horror story?  We've seen the likes of the Marco's, Amin's, and no doubt soon Mugabe, deposed and its only a matter of time before the Castro's are too.  Not that I wish to see Banana Republic, Old Navy, or any other mega bland brand-type stores destroy or re-brand this history, and hopefully after the inevitable revolution which will undoubtedly happen, hopefully we will see a new and fresh direction happen beyond the hideous global branding and visual-by-manual mentality. Who knows?  I just hope these guys don't  crave t-shirts from Gap, sweaters from Benetton and god forbid pairs of Uggs.  (maybe Cubuggs?)   However, these guys possibly made a lot of this stuff anyway, although, I feel, it may still be seen, sadly, as aspirational.

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