A collection of photos from Bydgoszcz, a city in Poland founded in 1364 where many old buildings - some of them fine examples of Prussian architecture - fall into disrepair due to negligence and lack of funds for maintenance and renovation.
I'd like to thank Arek Wybranowski for guidance and encouragement.
Prem Nivas is a self-sustaining leprosy colony in one of Calcutta's northern suburbs. Lepers get treated there and can go back to work in the community by doing handlooming, stitching, cooking or gardening. Even though leprosy today can be easily cured, ex-lepers keep on getting stigmatised so it is still difficult for them to find acceptance and respect in society. In Prem Nivas many of them get new perspectives
Puro, the Spanish word for cigar. But it also means “real”. Puro is the synonym for Cuban cigars. Cuba finds its national identity in the cigar; it is cult and commerce at the same time. It is a cultural part. And it always has, and still does so today, a strong attraction on intellectuals, literates, musicians and adventurers from all over the world.
The smoking of a cigar and the occupation of oneself with the tobacco draws like a myth through all layers of the Cuban society. Today there is a generation of older women and men, who represent this long tradition from back into the late century. In the “Faces of Cuba” the melting pot of many nationalities is reflected in a direct and untouched way.
That is Cuba “puro”.
Joop Greypink intended to catch this spirit of Cuba photographically. With the help of Cuban friends, he looked for women and men who have been dealing with the tradition of the tobacco and the cigar since a long time. They represent tradition and myth, but are also a mirror of today's Cuban society.
The photographs of these carefully selected persons are taken in a straight, untouched and inartificial way. They look into the camera and with their eyes they contact the viewer. The photographs are in black and white and are printed larger than life size, floating at the show like huge tobacco leaves.
This direct contact between viewers and photograph enables us to read their individual history, but also their common “being Cuban”, by means of the physiognomy of the photographed people.
These photographs are an encyclopaedia of the Cubans, showing how the spirit of a society and its people can be reflected in a photograph.
The PUROS Project is an encyclopaedia of the Cubans, showing how the spirit of a society and its people can be reflected in a photograph.
The series cover 35 black and white photographs on 200x120 cm gelatine silver paper and are enlarged from 8x10" negatives.
Joop Greypink lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany
This series comprises of twenty images captured in seven countries between 1986 and 2001.