FINDNG VAQUEROS IN CUBA - RORY DOYLE
Hats, boots, saddles, and chaps. Cowboy culture is vivid across Cuba. The heavily farmed province of Sancti Spíritus, where people pack the stadium for weekly rodeo events, could easily pass for the Wild West. This sense of time travel is partly due to the fact that the rodeos—like most aspects of cuban life—feature mismatched and refurbished equipment that is several decades old. During a 2017 trip, Doyle traveled across the island to document cowboy culture throughout Cuba. Rodeo and ranching in Cuba trace back to the Spaniards, who introduced cattle to the island, along with cowboy and rodeo traditions, during colonization in the 1500s. The importance of the cattle industry dwindled after the cuban revolution ended in 1959, but the passion for rodeo remained. According to some, rodeo in Cuba is second only to baseball, the national sport. Sparked by his ongoing project about African American cowboys and cowgirls in his home state of Mississippi, Doyle documents cowboy and horse riding culture across the globe.
Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in Cleveland, Mississippi in the rural Mississippi Delta. Doyle is a 2019 Mississippi Visual Artist Fellow through the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts for his ongoing project on African American cowboys and cowgirls, "Delta Hill Riders." Doyle won the 16th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest with the project, which was announced in April 2019. Later that month, Doyle was awarded the Southern Prize from South Arts organization. The work was featured in the Half King Photo Series in New York and The Print Space Gallery in London before opening as a full exhibit at the Delta Arts Alliance in February 2019. He was also recognized for the project by winning the 2019 Zeiss Photography Award, and the photojournalism category at the 2018 Eye Em Awards in Berlin, Germany.
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