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Jérôme Sessini March 7, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cuba.

Santiago, Cuba 2009

Jérôme Sessini (b.1968, France) began to work for the GAMMA agency following the Kosovo war in 1999. Since then he has covered international events, the second intifada, the conflict in Iraq –where his has regularly returned since 2003, the Haitian crisis of 2004, the capture of Mogadishu by the Islamic courts in 2006 and the Lebanon War, which he covered in depth. At the same time he has been working long term on the violence in post civil war Central American countries. His work on the southern Mexican border “Mexico, the end of the American Dream” was nominated for a Visa d’or in the magazine category. His work is regularly published in the French and international press including: Paris-Match, le Monde 2, Elle, Figaro Magazine, L’espresso, Stern, Newsweek, Time and others. He was awarded the Grand Prize Calderon at the festival “Scoop” in Angers 2005.

About the Photograph:

“It was my second trip to Cuba. In January 1959 Fidel Castro was greeted by the Cubans as their liberator. Fifty years later, the Cuban people don’t have any more desire to celebrate anything. Cuban’s are tired and depressed by such hard daily life conditions. The average monthly salary is about 13 euros. Every day is a  fight to provide for basics needs. For the 50th anniversary revolution day, the people were invited by the government to remain at home and watch Raul Castro speak on TV-  a speech austere and widely turned toward the past, without  future prospect and  hope. I made this photograph while many young tourists from Argentina, wearing tee-shirts of Che were screaming slogans such as “Viva el Ché!! Viva Fidel! Viva la revolucion. They celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution while the Cubans themselves was sad, indifferent and suffering for this regime.”