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Historical Photos Exhibited in Old Havana
The explosion of Hinderburg airship, followed by snapshots of Marilyn Monroe, Mother Teresa of Calcuta, and the US flag hoisted on Mount Suribachi are among dozens of photos that have marked history, and are part of the exhibition opened in Havana containing several of them taken by photographers from the Associated Press agency since 1935.


The picture of the tragic explosion of Hinderburg dirigible in 1937 in New Jersey, US, taken by Murray Becker; followed by a snapshot of controversial actress Marilyn Moroe, and another of Mother Teresa of Calcuta; plus the one Joe Rosenthal took when the US flag was hoisted on Mount Suribachi, island of Iwo Jima –action that marked the beginning of the intervention and occupation of Japan in February 1945- are the landmarks with which the AP showing in Havana begins.


The exhibition, opened to the public at one of the halls of the San Francisco de Asís Convent, in the historical center of Old Havana, outstands for its thematic variety, quality, and excellence of the shots. The selection, divided in three large series, makes a sort of semi-chronology of the main photos stored up by the agency since its photographic service began in 1935. Images dating from more than half a century of work can be seen as part of a selection that includes famous historic photos, which make up part of the international visual heritage.

One of the series comprises photos of the armed conflicts that marked the 20th century and beginning of the 21st in Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and Africa. There are harsh, shocking images that denounce the reality of wars and their consequences for the innocent civilians. An homage to daring professionals who, risking their lives amid bursts of machine-gun fire, the smoke of bombs, hate of men, and fear of refuges and trenches, immortalized crucial moments and experiences while collaborating to make of AP a current world reference of photo-journalism.


Daily reports of correspondents in Latin America and the Caribbean make up the second series. Local photo-reporters provide evidence for the reality of their peoples in the fields of sports, politics, personalities, religion, and civil society. Those photos show the settlements of Brazil’s Matto Grosso Rainforest, the reality of Guatemalan jails, violence in Haiti, the reality of poor Argentinean towns, the rescue of Cuban boy Elián González in Miami in 2000, the tobacco plantations of famous farmer Robaina in Cuba, and Hugo Chávez’s speeches in Venezuela, among many others containing everyday news.


Associated Press is renowned for its daily news service, though it does not usually dedicates to graphic reports. The showing includes three high-quality pictures taken in 2007. “Toros en México” (Bulls in Mexico), by Alexandre Meneghini, demonstrate the generalized love for that practice. “Guatemala: Deudas de los muertos” by Rodolfo Add, presents the unhealthy situation caused by the handling of remains after forced exhumations. David Guttenfelder’s “Victimas del agente maranja en Vietnam” are touching images of malformations Vietnamese children are still suffering from the toxic substances used to neutralize Vietcong during the war.

The public may enjoy very famous photos, images by some winners of the Pulitzer Prize in different years such as: Joe Rosenthal, Bill Foley, Eddie Adams, John Moore, Muhammed Nuheisen, Alan Díaz, among others, as well as harsh, courageous, touching snapshots. The significance of the sustained work and professionalism of the AP photographers stands out immediately through the glasses. The agency currently offers an average of 3,000 photos daily, and characterizes for the excellent service and respect for such values as immediacy and news seriousness.

Source: Cubanow

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