Return to Never Never chronicles a series of journeys made to Cuba over a period of ten years.
A fictional island in the writings of J.M. Barrie, Neverland became a metaphor for eternal youth, immortality and escapism. In the history of 1960s Cuba, Operation Pedro Pan was a harrowing period that brought an exodus of Cuban children to America, sent by parents fearing for their loved ones’ upbringing under the shadow of Castro’s new government.
Just as Neverland existed only in the fanciful minds of children, so too does the idea of Cuba within the subconscious of contemporary society. It is a place marked by limbo and untouched by the passage of time – which itself seems to come and go when all else seemingly remains still. In contrast to Neverland, the exodus can only last so long in the adult imagination.
Relying on methods of chance and personal/collective memory, these photographs capture encounters – people, places, rituals, and the complex connect with the land and nation. It is a coincidental reality that is neither ordered or logical, but blurring lines between dreamed and everyday life, the imagined and the fact.
All images ©Rebecca Reeve