Monthly Archive for January, 2015


Danuska, who has received a lot of artificial implantation with highly toxic industrial silicone, struggles with body image issues and often makes jokes about how she is anorexic. Because of a transperson’s desire to match their body with the way they truly feel within, many transwomen seek to enhance their bodies either through surgery or implantation. However, without hospitals or medical care that attend to trans people and with limited economic resources, many undergo boot-leg procedures that often lead to health complications and sometimes even death.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 6.#burndiary #transgender #documentary #humanrights #portrait #danuska #lima #peru

Arien Chang – Coalmen/Carboneros

Arien Chang



Zapata Swamp, in Cuba’s southern coast and less than a hundred miles from Havana, is commonly imagined as a remote wildlife refuge for mangrove, crocodiles and exotic birds. Isolation, hard work and extreme poverty have kept the Swamp’s human inhabitants disconnected from the contemporary reality of the country, and certainly from the world beyond our embargoed shores. While the Cuban government promotes a process of ‘modernization’ and fantasies of consumption filter through these new openings, Coalmen toil in the swamp, following an ancient process to produce charcoal for export and earn their survival.

This project explores the quotidian patterns and rituals of the Coalmen’s lives, their environment and their families. Coalmen devote their days to producing wealth they’ll never see, for a system they live on the margins of, while on the other side of the Island we yearn for material possessions and modern technology. I use the camera to magnify details of seemingly unimportant moments, looking to extract some understanding of their contentment, happiness and our shared humanity. This series should not be confused for a romantic interpretation of scarcity, but an exploration of the rhythm and logic of a simple existence that responds directly to context and circumstance and is firmly grounded in the present.



This project is a reconnection to my origins as a photographer, when I developed film in my childhood bedroom during the hot nights with home-made chemicals and old equipment inherited from friends who had migrated. It’s a homage to those principled masters I learned to observe the world with, like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Josef Koudelka and Eugene Smith. It’s a tribute to the men that labour in the heat and humidity of the swamp, with tools and techniques from another time, producing the charcoal that will light fires and fade into embers in distant, unimaginable places.




Arien Chang Castan is an award-winning documentary photographer who lives and works in Havana, Cuba. At the beginnings of his career as an artist, he devoted himself to painting, and later discovered in photography both the expression of his personality and a way to document recondite settings in Cuba. Arien’s work focuses in areas within Cuban society that are generally ignored in Cuban documentary photography. Themes like the rodeo, gay culture, and bodybuilding are reflected in his work, always portrayed with an artistic, conceptual vision that enriches the image. Arien has collaborated with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and National Geographic and has taught workshops to students from CalPoly, San Jose State University, and NYU. He has traveled and exhibited his work at conferences and festivals in Cuba and around the world including Australia, China and Venezuela. Arien made his first exhibition in the United States in 2014.

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Arien Chang



Botafogo Bay and Sugarloaf

Rio. View of Botafogo Bay and Sugarloaf. #rio#beachgames #burnmagazine #leica #monochrom


Wherever Tamara moves, she always takes her collection of saints with her, often keeping a candle lit.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 5.#burndiary #transgender #documentary #humanrights #tamara #lima #peru #faith

A friend’s taxi

Tamara moves her belongings into a friend’s taxi who will drive her to a new communal home around the block. Having to quickly leave where they live is a common occurrence among transwomen for reasons such as poor living conditions, the inability to pay rent or being caught with drugs or alcohol in their rooms. The communal homes in which they live have some of the most expensive rates for downtown Lima.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Dairy, Day 5.#burndiary #transgender #documentary #humanrights

Shower Room

Trans shower room. Priscilla. #beachgames #rio#burnmagazine #leica #monochrom


Oriana, a transwoman from my long-term project, heads out for the evening with another woman who lives in the same communal home. Oriana began prostituting at a young age and says she enjoys it because it allows her to be who she wants. The majority of transwomen cannot find work off the streets because of discrimination. Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 4. #burndiary #lima #peru #trans #documentary #identity #freedom #humanrights #shadows #nightlight


#Rio #ipanema #beachgames #burnmagazine

Rainbow in Lima

From Callao, a port in Lima. Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 4. #lima #peru #callao #ships #inrainbows #color #patch #purple #sky

Young girls


These two young girls walked by while visiting people from the Shipibo-Conibo community to talk about free photography workshops. This particular community was relocated to Lima years ago from the Amazon and still remain in the government houses that were built for them. Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 3. #burndiary #lima #peru #shipibo #relocated #kids #community #peruvian #amazon