As a supplement to her photography blog, Angela Solis (@gelagoo) recently released the print magazine Der Pinsel and its first issue features photographs taken in Havana, Cuba. Born in the Philippines, which was also a former colony of Spain, Solis explored the streets of Havana with a sense of wistful familiarity.
Hello Angela! Welcome back to the Lomography magazine. What inspired you to start Der Pinsel magazine?
Thank you for the opportunity. It’s great to be back!
I decided to create Der Pinsel magazine mainly because I wanted to print my photos as part of my personal commitment to work on something creative as a healthy pause from my very busy life and career. A few years back I decided to take the opportunity to print my work and hold an exhibit about a topic that hits close to home.
It’s been a while now and given my very hectic schedule, the best way for me to print my photos again is to create a magazine. A printed material will also allow me to have a wider audience. Given that I maintain a social media account, it’s easier for me to share them my magazine and for them to have access to it.
The first issue of Der Pinsel centers on familiarity and features photographs taken in Havana, Cuba. Can you tell us more about that trip and how the idea of turning it into a magazine came to be?
I went to Cuba last October 2016. It was a year-long delayed honeymoon trip as I was preoccupied with moving cities and restarting my professional career shortly after I got married.
That time, I was already set in creating a magazine and visiting Havana sounds like a great place to get source materials. Initially my idea was to focus on its outstanding, albeit crumbling architecture. As I proceeded to read about Cuba I noticed similarities with my birth country, the Philippines. My initial impressions were further amplified when I arrived and decided this feeling of likeness would be a great theme for my first magazine. I saw the country through a different lens and found that approach to be refreshing.
Having been born in a country that was also a former colony of Spain, how did it influence your views about Cuba?
A deeper appreciation of history and culture, for one. I found the place to be nostalgic instead of unique and exotic: the children playing on the streets, old ports and forts, the churches, the flora, the hustle and bustle, and traces of economic struggle. These are scenes that are very similar to my childhood. Even the casa particular (a local bed-and-breakfast) that we stayed looked recognizable as it reminded me of our old homes where we grew up. Who would have thought seeing printed floral bed sheets, jalousie windows, and ixora (santan flowers) would put a smile on my face?
What can we expect next for Der Pinsel?
Seeing how the first issue evolved from one of my travels, I think the trajectory of the magazine will be mainly about my experiences from visiting different countries. Still shot with film, of course!