Insular Night: Invisible Gardens focuses on the urban life of contemporary Cuba and is the result of multiple journeys to the island from 2014 to 2019. The conceptual thread that binds the work together is the notion of “insularity,” which is a decisive feature of Cuban culture. This geographical concept, highlighting the condition of living surrounded by water, allowed me to approach the way Cubans gaze at what lies beyond their margins and to explore the contradictory effects of the foreign presence in the island – a crucial question in Cuba particularly since the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the country gradually opened itself to tourism and capitalism.
Insular Night: Invisible Gardens was published as part of the Paper Journal Annual 2019, and available now via — paper-journal.com
Rodrigo Sombra was born in Bahia, Brazil, in 1986. Sombra’s work was exhibited in group shows in the Museu Afro Brasil, in São Paulo, and in galleries from San Francisco, California, where he lived from 2012 to 2015. In 2019, Insular Night: Invisible Gardens, Sombra’s series on contemporary Cuba, was published as a book by Paper Journal magazine. The same series also gained a solo exhibition at Galeria São Paulo Flutuante, in São Paulo, in March 2019. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Der Greif, Aint-bad, Paper Journal, Fotoroom, Nin and Folha de São Paulo, among several others.