How photographing Castro started lifelong obsession for this Toronto artist

On Jan. 8, 1959, 24-year-old Harry Tanner leaned over the balcony of his girlfriend’s Havana apartment hoping to catch a glimpse of the man who would change the political edifice of Cuba.
A Cuban resident born to Canadian parents, Tanner was working as a journalist at the time and hoping to get a still image of Fidel Castro, the country’s revolutionary new leader.
“It was an exciting day,” says Tanner, now 82 and living in Toronto. “When he finally arrived in Havana, people welcomed Fidel — we had experienced so many years of corruption and violence under the government of Fulgencio Batista.”

This photo was taken by Tanner on Jan. 8, 1959, the day Castro and his Cuban revolutionaries arrived, triumphant, in Havana. (Harry Tanner)

The significance of Jan. 8, 1959 was not lost on the young photographer, and he captured many indelible images of that day, many of which have never been published before.

The presidential palace …
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