Kayak LIbre

the crossing.


Story & Film

May 28th, 2018. At 7:15 am three kayakers left Havana, attempting to kayak across the Straits of Florida to the United States, in solidarity with refugees and immigrants.

After 27 hours and 12 minutes of nonstop paddling, they landed in Key West, Florida.

For context, thousands of Cubans have attempted to paddle across the Straits of Florida in the last five decades, all undocumented. The goal of this project is to pay homage to the tragic history of the crossing, celebrate the current legal status, and advocate for continued open borders in the future.

The paddle spanned 125 miles of exposed and unpredictable ocean, from Havana to Key West. The Gulf Stream runs across the route. The three kayakers saw strong winds, rain and waves up to 10 feet high.

We’re making a film about the kayak crossing, juxtaposed with three stories from Cuban political refugees who now live in Miami, and their perspective on the crossing, the relationship between the two countries, and open borders at large.

Currently in post production. Set to launch in late October.

Photos by Johnie Gall