Island in the Stream – a Story of Cuba / Marlon Krieger

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Im Rahmen der Veröffentlichung des Slanted Magazins #21: CUBA – The New Generation, in dem wir viele tolle Fotografen und deren Arbeiten vorstellen, möchten wir euch gerne auf die ein oder andere Fotoserie hinweisen, auf die wir während unserer Recherchen und unserer Arbeit gestoßen sind.

Eine dieser Fotostrecken ist von dem Fotografen Marlon Krieger und zeigt das pure Leben Kubas mit seiner ganzen Leidenschaft, Kultur, Stolz und den Menschen und dem wahren Leben auf den Straßen, das geprägt ist von Politik, Ideologien und Vorstellungen. Ein leiser Ton von sanfter Traurigkeit schwingt in den Bildern beim Betrachten mit.

Marlon Krieger im Interview

1. Why and when did you start photographing?
Photographing just seemed like the natural order of things for me, I grew up around it and learned to love the still image from an early age. I think I took my first photograph around the age of 15 and never really stopped.

2. Which topics are you interested in most? How do you choose?
I started out with fashion and commercial work and then quickly gravitated to a storytelling and a documentary style, now focusing more on humanitarian photography. Recently I have been active in issues concerning education and women’s rights.

3. What was the reason for this Cuban photo series?
I wasn’t planning a project on Cuba at first, it was meant to be a vacation in 2004 with some friends. I had always had a curiosity regarding Cuba, it reeked of adventure and romance to me. And the idea that American citizens can’t travel to Cuba pissed me off enough for me to make a point of going. Once there I was captivated. I couldn’t help but returning so I have been back and forth since 2004 trying to capture the essence of the island as I saw it.

4. What impressed you most in Cuba?
I was immediately drawn to the people, the joy of life they have is astounding. Such warmth and generosity even in the face of such limitations and restrictions; it was unique, different than any place I had ever been. Music, laughter and art come to mind, and I remember being amazed at the ease with which I found myself invited to share a meal or a drink with complete strangers. That said, I also noticed a pervading sadness at the time; loneliness, boredom and longing. Two very conflicting states, which I try to convey in my work.

5. What equipment do you use?
My favorite is a Nikon n8008 35 mm camera, but I also shoot with a Canon 5d. I started the Cuba project shooting exclusively in film, Ilford HP 400, and then during the later years began shooting digital as well.

6. Artist or technician?
Ha Ha, maybe artist battling the technician within.

7. Who inspires you? Do you have role models?
I have always been drawn to the work of Helmut Newton and Sebastiao Salgaldo. If I could one day achieve a balance between their two approaches I would feel like I hit my mark.

8. Are there any websites/blogs/portals you are visiting regularly?
I’ve been checking Slanted on the regular now as well as,,, and It changes with the seasons.

9. Which magazines do you read?
I spend more time with books than magazines to be honest.

10. On which projects are you working on at the moment? What does your future look like?
I have been documenting underground musicians in NY, and working on a documentary mthat covers education as a mechanism for empowerment to marginalized people. I’ve just started a new project that deals with domestic abuse from a Native American perspective. I’ve always been drawn to the culture and traditions, which I find so beautiful, but American Indian history is filled with cruelty, misery and violence, and sadly it is reflected in their current communities. I’d love to talk more about it when the project progresses a bit.

Marlon Krieger has been working as a photographer for over ten years. Starting in fashion and commercial work, he quickly began to concentrate on storytelling and humanitarian photography. He has photographed in Haiti during the 2004 Civil War under U.N. auspice, chronicled life in Cuba from 2004-2010, documented domestic servitude in Peru and photographed the underground music scene in New York. For the last two years, Krieger has been working on projects centered on education and women’s issues,including domestic abuse and modern day slavery. Working in video and still photography, he has created multimedia presentations and short films, has organized various group exhibitions and fundraisers, and has been internationally exhibited and published. Marlon Krieger holds a degree in psychology and art history from New York University.

(Marlon Krieger)

Sven D.

Love the subjects, compositions, contrast. Great job, bro!

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