November 2016, La Havana, just after Fidel Castro’s death. Nine days of national grief were announced. Administrations and state services remained closed; the sale of alcohol was forbidden.

Meanwhile, a shockingly high number of Cubans are part of the country’s extensive secret services. Without knowing who’s who, you have to be careful of everybody: your neighbor, your friend, your uncle. You never know who’s watching or who’s listening…

This meant that in these days of grief, it was better to stay at home, mouth shut. Easier to exude a visible sadness in private than in public.

Time is slow in La Havana, especially when you’re 25 and dreaming of Miami. Especially when you have no job to do and no money to spend on this island under embargo. Sometimes you drink to forget, but the city ran dry during these days of national mourning. So you can’t even drink anymore, and the days become longer and longer. Eventually, you find yourself bored to death.

—Remy Soubanère

Rémy asked us to include this note about his series: ”I am at the stage in my career where I have not ‘emerged’ enough to be represented by a gallery, but I also don’t rely on press commission to live. I had to find a way to sell my work, so I decided to focus on publishing my own series of fine art prints. In some ways, working alone is a good opportunity, because I can focus on the quality of my work (rather than someone else’s needs). Lonely Havana is one of these fine art series if you are interested.”

Editors’ note: this project was singled out by the jury of the Street Photography Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring work by the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks!