We caught up with filmmaker, photographer, and author of Faces and Voices of Cuba Dmitry Zhitov, after his exhibit in Miami at Art&Design Gallery, before the book heads to stands next week at Books & Books.
What has been the reception of the book so far?
The response has been wonderful! Last week, I had an opening of my exzhibition of photographs from “Faces and Voices of Cuba” at Art&Design Gallery, where I also presented my the book. Everyone seemed to love it, especially the addition of a soundtrack/narration to the book. It guides you through the pages with narration, sounds, music, and voices that enhances and transports you into the photographs.
What is your favorite image of Cuba inside Faces and Voices of Cuba?
I love all the images in the book, but my most favorite is Hugolina, she’s the woman on the cover. When she first saw me she gave me a big hug and invited me into her home. Her house was sparse, but it was clean and welcoming. I included a picture of her in her home as well. She was warm and open, sharing lots of stories with me. Hugolina is a very strong woman, just looking into her eyes one can see that she has not had an easy life, yet she continues to share her joy with those she meets.
Are you planning a second book?
Yes, I was born in Siberia, Russian. I am currently planning a trip back to Russia where I will spend as much time as possible traveling the vast country collecting beautiful, thoughtful images that I hope people will enjoy having in their homes in the form of a coffee table book.
Hugolina is a very strong woman, just looking into her eyes one can see that she has not had an easy life, yet she continues to share her joy with those she meets.
What has been your experience as a self publishing artist?
I have enjoyed every step of this process. First of all Being able to go to Cuba; meeting all the wonderful, and interesting people along the way.
Taking the pictures, selecting the images that would finally make it into the book was probably the hardest part. Being able to collaborate with my friend Susan Ford Collins, who wrote the descriptions of the images and my friend Michael Angelo Lomplex who put together a great soundtrack to the book.
I am honored that Books & Books liked ‘Faces and Voices of Cuba’ that they agreed on selling it in all of their locations. On June 2nd at 7pm Books & Books will be having an Opening of my Exhibition “Faces and Voices of Cuba”, a Book Talk and a Book Signing. I am excited to share my experience that I had in Cuba with everyone. Please join me on June 2nd at Books & Books in Coral Gables at 7pm to 10pm.
What has been the most inspiring response so far?
At the opening of the exhibition, I got a very touching response from one gentleman whose mother was born in Cuba. He told me that he cannot wait to give the book to his mother, so she can journey back to Cuba (through the pictures and the sounds of Cuba), he said the book is very emotional and thanked me so much for putting it together. I was also told that this is not just a coffee table book, this is a virtual journey through Cuba, that the untouched photographs are so real and raw when they leaf through the book. They feel they have gone on a real journey through Cuba.
Those are just a few of the most inspiring responses I have gotten thus far. I am thankful for them and they’ve inspired me to create more projects like ‘Faces and Voice of Cuba’.
Join Dmitry at Books and Books Coral Gables, June 2nd from 7-10PM for a gallery, book talk and signing. For full details click here.