GIVING & TAKING
Havana, Cuba, 2016
I bought a flag for my dorm room.
I figured I could hang it above my bed; a small way to commemorate and remember my time in Havana. That was all.
But as I walked home through the streets of Vedado after making my purchase, the flag's frayed corner poking out of a plastic bag, I received a few raised eyebrows and reactions.
"What are you doing with that flag?"
"Do you know what that represents?"
"Let me show you how to properly fold it, here."
Having grown up in a nation where freedom of expression is a given, the concept that the Cuban people could take the treatement of their national symbol so very literally was fascinating to me. It was clear that one's handling of the flag was a direct representation of their respect for the nation.
With my newfound wisdom, I set out on a mission: to use the flag to expose Cuban sentiment about their own evolving national identity, as well as their feelings surrounding their country's tenuous relationship with my country, the United States; one that has been entangled in a dramatic ebb and flow of 'giving and taking' for the duration of its exsistence.