By Moe Zoyari

Note by Pulitzer Prize Winner, Kim Komenich, 2012

" ... There are the learned mechanical skills-- composition, sensitivity to light and color and moment-- techniques that can be sharpened through practice and perseverance. Then there are the almost mystical, poetic skills that have their home in the heart. Rarely does the skill set of a young photographer combine the poetic ability to capture a moment of intimacy in a grand vista with the people skills necessary to strike up an intimate photographic relationship with a room full of strangers... "

By Moe Zoyari

Note by Moe Zoyari, the author of Forgetfulness, 2017

On the first days of March 2015 - I suddenly decided to sell most of the things I owned but leave the necessary ones in a backpack to travel the world. 74 items to be exact! I saved enough money to last for a year and promised myself not to give up until I have the energy, purpose and of course money to continue my journey. This sudden decision ended up being an amazing experience that familiarized me with many cultures in those 45 countries I visited. The simplest thing I learned was that this world is massive, and beautiful. The photos in this book are a small part of what I witnessed and documented during those 14 months.


Note by Pulitzer Prize winner, Alexander Garcia, 2018

I see this persistence and determination in Zoyari's work, which captures hard-to-find moments where the layers of Cuba seemingly peel back to reveal a subtle and profound complexity of meaning interwoven in daily moments: a man in a USA shirt gazing at a habanera who teasingly gives him her back; the shimmering pendant of a young man on the Malecón and a heart glowing with an unstated desire on the wall that separates our two countries; pointe shoes left behind on a concrete floor as a dancer's garb reaches poetically upwards, recalling John Gillespie McGee Jr.'s famous phrase, "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings!"

These lovely and suggestive moments only come through perseverance and an insightful gaze that has not been dulled by the inevitable frustrations of photographing a country unwilling to be owned. Zoyari has been able to both participate in and transcend this struggle to embrace moments quietly offered to those willing to accept them for what they are. This requires an appreciation, dare I say love, for Cuba that is often not reciprocated. But that's to be expected. "No es fácil."