Street Art in Cuba

By Abi King | Cuba

Apr 13
Revolutionary mother and child in Cuba

Revolutionary mother and child in Cuba


In Cuba, I spent most of my time on the streets. It’s a Caribbean country with a laid-back vibe, whatever its international stereotype and ongoing political conflicts.

As you may know, I love street art. It captures my imagination because of its tendency to represent an undercurrent of rebellion. A symbol of authentic expression rather than corporate strategy or political manoeuvring.

That’s a naive point of view, of course, and I didn’t need to go to Cuba to find that out.

Yet I did go, years back in 2005, and these images have stayed with me ever since. Perhaps because I missed the chance to learn more about what they really meant. Perhaps because images of a mother, a baby and a weapon still surprise me.

Do they represent propaganda and state control? Or the passioned paintbrushes of someone who believed in their principles, with a fervent desire to share their vision with the world.

I never found out – and I regret that. But I still find them interesting – and I hope you do too.

Street Art in Cuba

Por la victoria - street art with flag in Cuba

Por la victoria – Cuba

Woman walks past street art in Cuba. Message reads "Lies"

Mentiras = Lies

Terrorism Plays on the Streets in Cuba


About the Author

Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on

Jenna April 14, 2011

Wow…really interesting. All the images have such a strong message.

Sophie April 14, 2011

Very good selection. That first one – how Aleida March must have looked, perhaps…

ayngelina April 14, 2011

Nice work Abi, I really would love to get to Cuba soon.

Michael Hodson April 17, 2011

Really great stuff. I love street art also. Trying to sort a way to Cuba (I want to TRY to go legally, just to have the added story on how I pulled that off) sometime in the next year.

Angela April 17, 2011

Great photos, I too love street art!

Abby April 17, 2011

Wow. After living in Miami for four years (and I was just there last weekend), I’ve been obsessed with Cuba. I even booked so many trips for my bosses ten years ago when I worked at Reuters down there. Loved these pics — and was so happy to meet you!

Andrea April 17, 2011

These are fantastic! Every time I see photos of Cuba there is so much political signage and artwork. We really want to get there, especially now that I have an Australian passport and don’t have to worry.

Juno April 18, 2011

Outstanding. Nice capture Abi! Streetarts are really speaking their society and their color.

Nancie April 19, 2011

Great art…definitely portrays the atmosphere of the country.

Abi King April 26, 2011

Thanks for all your comments. I’d highly recommend a trip to Cuba if you can pull it off (depending upon your passport ;) )
It offers such a different view of life – and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Henry Williams July 27, 2011

Great post those are some interesting images and the last thing I thought Cuba was , was a laid back place

    Abi King July 31, 2011

    Like every country, there will be places that aren’t laid back. Yet on the whole (and certainly compared to the UK,) Cuba really does have a laid back vibe. Children play in the streets, people sit on outdoor balconies chatting, doors and windows are open and salsa & Cuban son filters through the streets on most afternoons…

Federico October 6, 2011

Cuba…an interesting country, have mixed feelings about it. I think I´d like to go back and explore further…but it should be soon!

    Abi King March 15, 2012

    Yes, I know what you mean. I have very mixed feelings about it – but it would be great to go back soon. I can’t imagine that things will stay as they are for much longer…

Comments are closed