Greg Kahn: Havana Youth

Greg Kahn: Havana Youth
Greg Kahn: Havana Youth


August 27 – November 24, 2020

Click Here to Watch Virtual Artist’s Talk

Cody Gallery is pleased to announce Greg Kahn: Havana Youth, which opened on August 27 and will remain on view through November 24, 2020. Gallery hours are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY during the hours of Thursday – Friday, 10a-5pm. Please email or phone (703) 908-7782 to make an appointment. Please note MU ID Card holders may visit at any time during these hours.

What does it mean to be a “Millenial” or “Gen-Zer” in Cuba today? Greg Kahn explores the answer to this question through a series of photographs that comprise Havana Youth. Known as “The Special Period in Time of Peace” or “Período Especial,” an extended period of economic crisis due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union loomed over Cuba from roughly 1991 to 2000. Cubans born during or slightly before this period are now in their 20s and 30s and have spent much of their youth seeking to define themselves as individuals in a nation that emphasizes the collective. They have experienced extreme economic recession, dwindling resources and a US-led economic embargo that bred resentment toward the United States and the bourgeoisie.

In spite of these oppressive conditions, it is evident through Kahn’s photographs that youth culture in Havana has defined itself uniquely on the international stage. Of this generation, Kahn observes, “this is their cultural counter-revolution, and they are redefining what it means to be Cuban.” Sartorial choices serve as subversive protests against government restrictions, music and dancing thrive in the streets and living for the moment underscores the vibrant lifestyle. In Havana, culture is credo.

A fully illustrated book, HAVANA YOUTH, published by Yoffy Press with an introduction by Arian Hernandez-Reguant will be available for purchase for the duration of the exhibition.

Greg Kahn (b. 1981) is a Washington, DC – based American documentary fine art photographer. Kahn grew up in a small coastal town in Rhode Island, and attended The George Washington University in Washington D.C. In 2012, Kahn co-founded GRAIN Images with his wife Lexey, and colleague Tristan Spinski. His Pulitzer Prize nominated project, “It’s Not a House, It’s a Home,” explores how the foreclosure crisis in Florida defined a new class of homelessness. Kahn’s photographs have been published in Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Washington Post, and The Atlantic among others.

Please note Cody Gallery’s safety procedures and protocols are aligned with those set forth by Marymount University. Visitors are required to wear masks at all times and asked to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between each other. A maximum of 5 people are permitted in the gallery at any given time. Hand sanitization stations will be available to visitors upon entry. 

Cody Gallery of Marymount University is located at 1000 North Glebe Road, 2nd Floor. Street parking and Capital Bikeshare are available. The gallery is located near the Metroline Orange: Ballston-MU.

Image: Greg Kahn, Pauza, 2015, digital archival print, 17″ x 24″, Edition of 8 (Paula Fernandez, 25, a member of the female electronic DJ duo, Pauza, spins at La Romana, a club in Havana. The trailblazing pair have been featured on the covers of magazines in Cuba and have received sponsorship from Red Bull. The pair deviates from the more typical pop-music and reggaeton DJs in Havana, instead playing deep house, techno, and Afro-Cuban throwback sounds. But working in a country where downloading a single song from the internet can take 10-20 mintutes makes it difficult to keep up with the latest modern trends.)