Posted in Photography, tagged Casco Viejo, Churches, Las Bóvedas, Panama, Panama Viejo, Paseo General Esteban Huertas, Photographs, Photography, Pirate Sir Henry Morgan, Santo Domingo Church, Tourism on May 6, 2013 | 2 Comments »
While strolling through the Old Shell of Panama City, I happened into two enticing photographs embedded in large aluminum ads. The images looked great and shot with great taste and style. I guess they were to be used to promote tourism in Panama by the Tourism Authority.
I thought it would be interesting to see what would be the final result of taking a picture of a photograph; a copy of a copy so to speak. This is what finally came out of my image experiment. Here we go.
The old section of Panama City, commonly known as “Casco Viejo”, was founded by Spain in 1673 after the original settlement of Panama Viejo was pillaged and torched by Welch pirate Sir Henry Morgan on January 28, 1671. His wealth is estimated to be the equivalent of $13.9 million today. Not bad for a buccaneer.
The Convent of Santo Domingo (shown above) was built in 1678, five years after the foundation of the old section of Panama City. It was partly destroyed by two large fires during the XVII century. A sturdy brick arch used to hold the wooden beams of the church is still standing. It is known as the “arco chato”; a main attraction among the abundant monuments of Casco Viejo.
Looking at the image, it’s difficult to distinguish the difference between the framed photograph and the real buildings in the background. Both are almost identical in their appearance. The optical illusion is interesting in this picture of the city. Good Day.
I decided to process this snapshot in black and white since it reminded me of Habana, Cuba; thus the title of the blog post. The city is the center of the Cuban Government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices.
The name Habana could be based upon the name of a local Taíno chief Habaguanex. An alternate theory is that Habana is derived from the Middle Dutch word havene, referring to a harbor.
The hands of the clock stopped on January 1, 1959 when bearded soldiers rolled down into the city from the Sierra Maestra. On January 8, 1959, Castro’s army entered Habana; proclaiming himself Representative of the Rebel Armed Forces of the Presidency, Castro—along with close aides and family members—set up home and office in the penthouse of the Havana Hilton Hotel, meeting with journalists, foreign visitors and government ministers. The rest is history.
Since then, nothing has changed. We can still see 1950s Fords, Studebakers, Chevys, or DeSotos cruising through the streets of Havana. It’s like looking at a MGM movie studio in Hollywood and stumbling into Al Pacino while he was working on the motion picture The Godfather. Time is frozen in Cuba as well as in the old section of Panama City, Panama as these pictures eloquently express.
An invisible wall was erected by Fidel Castro and his cronies to hold Freedom hostage. I know someday this wall will crumble down following the path of the Berlin wall in 1989. You can bet your bird that this day will come and Cuba will again be a free country as it was meant to be.
I can almost see the gleefulness radiating on José Martí and Yoani Sánchez’s face, author of the blog Generación Y, as well as on the faces of millions and millions of free Cubans when this day finally arrives. Free at Last! Viva Cuba Libre! Good Day.