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I traveled to Cuba because my girlfriend decided to do an internship in a hospital in La Havana, she’s a Doctor. Until then, I had always made photographs guided by a specific theme, trying to tell something about other people’s misfortunes. I decided to experience photography in a different way this time. I wasn’t interested in telling or describing anything about the well-known political and historical characteristics of the Cuban system. I didn’t want to need to look for ‘useful situations’. I tried to forget that I was there.
Liberating myself of having to tell something about Cuba allowed me to connect in a more authentic way with the place. Photographing using only my instinct allowed me to discover what I was feeling. My method was to walk the same streets over and over again, in silence, just focusing in contemplating. I sometimes felt attracted to the expression of the shapes and textures and to the simple beauty of nature. Other times I felt I was just photographing my own sense of calmness or the mystery that Cuba inspired me. Yuma is the way Cubans call foreigners, I was the Yuma.
Gustavo Jononovich was born in Buenos Aires in 1979. In 2008 he began as a freelance photographer, after two years of training covering local news as a contract photographer for an Argentine based newspaper.
His first long-term book project RICHLAND, currently in progress, is about the over-exploitation of the natural resources in Latin America and the resulting long-term negative effects, both human and environmental. His approach to photography led him far away from covering breaking news, being more interested in providing an in-depth analysis on the stories.
His work has been published in Newsweek Japan, PDFX12, the Black Snapper, Global Post, Bite! and Lunatic Magazine, among others.
– POYi Latin America 2011 – Migration and Human Trafficking Stories – 2nd prize
– ICP Infinity Award in Photojournalism 2010 – Nominee
– Encuentro Internacional de Foto y Periodismo ‘Ciudad de Gij’n’ 2010 – Finalist
– Environmental Photographer of The Year 2009 – Climate Change – 2nd prize