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Marylise Vigneau October 26, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cuba.
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Central Havana 2015

Marylise Vigneau (b.1968, France) developed an early taste for peeping through keyholes and climbing walls. She studied Literature at la Sorbonne and her thesis was about cities as characters in Russian and Central-European novels. During the past eight years Marylise has been mainly documenting life in Asia focusing on cities and on what time and development or isolation do to them. Her work has been shown in the Angkor Photo Festival, Foto Istanbul, Yangon Photo Festival, Nairang Gallery in Lahore and Focus Photography Festival in Mumbai. Her photographs have been published in Pix Quarterly (India), Asia Life and Milk (Cambodia).

About the Photograph:

“I stumbled across this scene and was seduced by the pattern made of thorns and tenderness, tentacles that surrounded the young couple, capturing the girl’s body in a double embrace. It’s part of my project About Time  where I intend to visit Havana once a year during the coming decade. In this city, time is an unavoidable character. Destructive or facetious, sardonic or nostalgic, political or imaginary, irreverent in any case, time sprawls its texture and shadow all over the city. Half a century of defiant isolation, embargo and excruciating austerity has done its work. The revolution seems to have been confiscated, the superb and sensuous fabric of the city has crumbled beyond repair. People have gone into exile building a very vivid absence, heroes have aged, swimming-pools have been left empty and disbelief and reluctance towards propaganda is everywhere. Time has collapsed here but time is on the verge of unwrapping. On Havana’s streets, there is a charge of anticipation, and one senses a people yearning to embrace the world.”

Ernesto Bazan April 13, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cuba.
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Dog and Hawk, Viñales, Cuba 2002

Ernesto Bazan (b.1959, Italy) received his first camera when he was 14-years-old and began photographing daily life in his native city and in the rural areas of Sicily. Photography has been more than a profession: a true passion, a mission in his life. Ernesto has published several books including The Perpetual Past and Passing Through. His recently launched publishing house, BazanPhotos Publishing, released Bazan Cuba and Al Campo in 2011, an in-depth color exploration of life in the Cuban countryside. ISLA, the last part of his Cuban trilogy, was self-published in 2014. He has won The W. Eugene Smith Grant and the World Press Photo award. He has also received fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation and a Guggenheim. His photographs are the the collections of  MoMA and ICP in New York, SFMoMA in San Francisco amoung others.

About the Photograph:

“My favorite image from Isla is probably the cover image, of a dog in the middle of a field looking up at what seems to be a flying hawk, while a farmer, in the background, takes his cows to pasture. When I took this image I was riding a horse. The vantage point is unique, but what makes the picture a true miracle are the elevated dog’s tail and his head looking up. They coalesce into what Roland Barthes would call the punctum. It’s a magical moment that, with a great amount of luck, turned into an ethereal, timeless photograph.”

Jérôme Sessini March 7, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cuba.
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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.”

Simon Hayter November 17, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cuba.
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Simon Hayter is an award-winning freelance photographer who divides his time between San Francisco  and Toronto. He specializes in editorial photography; both reportage and portraiture. Clients include Macleans Magazine, The Sunday Observer, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Advocate, Report on Business, The Guardian and The San Francisco Chronicle among others. Awards include: 2008- Selected for the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward, 2007- Missouri Photo Workshop, 2006- Winner, American Photography 23 Annual, 2006- Nominated for Picture of the Year, General News Category, NPAC, 2005- Winner, Picture Story of the Year, ECNPA, 2005- Selected for Eddie Adams Workshop, winner of Getty Images Portfolio Award

About the Photograph:

“An island unto itself, Cuba remains fiercely independent in the face of continued American hostility and international isolation. A land of contradictions, Cuba combines incredibly sophisticated and progressive social infrastructure with a troubled economy and political uncertainty. In the final days of Fidel Castro the future of Cuba is very much unknown. Will it remain an island unto itself or become a Caribbean Disney World? “

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