SEMlac reports

SEMlac reports (325)


Entitled Escape, a first photo shows a woman placing empty, newly washed casseroles on a table. A second one reveals two men dressing as women, and a pregnant woman with some washing on the line, wearing a Coca-Cola-advertising dress. A third picture portrays a person whose sexual identity is not clearly established. In all of them, symbols are mixed, standards are broken, and sexes and meanings are confusing.

These and many other images were taken while the First International Workshop on Professional Photography and Gender Perspective was held on September 14-19, in Havana.

Sponsored by the Mirta Aguirre’s Gender and Communication Chair at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism, the event was aimed at promoting an unbiased, bold and fresh approach to professional photography.


This has been a different summer. There have been data shows, documentary film exhibitions, and steady supply of printed materials and condoms. Volunteers at the local prevention center for STIs and HIV/AIDS in the eastern province of Granma, 760 kilometers away from Havana, have reached even mountain areas.

Zeida Santiesteban, a journalist who is the center's director, said that a long cherished dream has finally come true. "Under a project of the Spanish NGO Médicos del Mundo, we have been able to implement interventions in isolated areas," she added.

Project coordinators and volunteers had a 45-seat bus available in the last couple of months to do prevention and promotion work in the field. They included representatives of projects such as Men having Sex with Men (MSM), Transvestites, People Practicing Transactional Sex (PPTS), Women, Teenagers and Youngsters, and counseling services.


Clara is a 76-year-old black woman who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 59. Some months later, however, she suffered from convulsive attacks.

“My mother said I had had these crises when I was a little girl, but she never took me to the doctor. Since I made my debut, I have been on treatment at the National Institute of Neurology,” she indicated.

“She suffers from convulsive attacks when she has high blood pressure, a fever or some strong emotion. Her lips begin to tremble; that is the only sign she shows,” stressed her son Fidel, who lives with her and takes her to the doctor’s whenever required.

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