Entrance hall in a day care center in Habana Vieja. National heroes are on display, amongst them "el Che Guebara" and Camilo Cienfuegos. El "Che" is loved by all. November, 2013.

Lovers glance into each others eyes and not down at their blackberries, the information age is 30 years away, neighbours chat in the streets and children play baseball in the backyards. Young men flirt and chat women up on the corners, conversations are live, over coffee instead of virtual. “Habaneros” live with no gadgets, no superfluous accessories, they make do with bare essentials.

That is the Havana, Cuba, I experienced during a stay in November 2013, and the one I wish to share – a society caught in a developmental time wrap. True, the information highway has not arrived, the electronic gear box is still in Detroit, and you cannot download the latest episode of Desperate Housewives on iTunes. However, the fifties architecture, the period restored automobiles, the neighbourhood baseball game and the witty pick up lines are all still there, alive and well and living in Cuba. A bygone era no longer found in the rest of the world, washed away by the information tsunami.

The photographs show, I hope, these halcyon days preserved on the streets of Havana. The photographs remind us of the true price of the SnapChats of our times, canned foods and instant noodles. They show the charm of a gentler time that is about to, as the US trade embargo ends, catch up with modernity and disappear for ever.

Graciela Magnoni