Student photographers exhibit work from J-term in Cuba

April 20, 2004
Keni Lanagan, Administrative Assistant
865.981.8209 or keni.lanagan@maryvillecollege.edu

Maryville College student photographers J. Thomas Haugen and Jasmina Tumbas will exhibit images taken during a J-term trip to Cuba this past winter.

The exhibit, entitled "Cuba Libré," is on display in the Bartlett Hall Atrium until May 1. An opening reception is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., April 24.

Touring the exhibit is free.

Led by Dr. Chad Berry, associate professor of history at Maryville College, a group of 25 students visited Cuba for two weeks in January to learn about the culture and heritage of the island nation located less than 75 miles from Florida. The trip was arranged with permission from the United States Department of the Treasury as part of an educational study tour. The group visited cultural attractions in the cities of Havana, Trinidad, Santiago and Cienfuegos.

Approximately 40 silver nitrate museum-quality images will be on display, depicting everything from Cuba's architecture to its natural scenery to its diverse citizenry.

"The students' comments included amazement at how people with no cable TV and no Nikes or other common possessions of our society were so content and happy. They commented about the friendliness of the Cuban people," said Stan McCleave, photography instructor at Maryville College. "Often the students would be invited inside their homes to take photographs. The Cubans did not have a lot, but they were proud to show what they had."

Tumbas and Haugen are both students of McCleave. The exhibit is part of an honors course the two are taking.

In a jointly written statement for the exhibit, Haugen and Tumbas said they wanted to capture the reality of Cuba. "By avoiding, for the most part, the traditional tourist areas of the country, we opted to look inland at the people and society. As a group we were forced to confront a different version of reality in today's Cuba."