Grant Work | Visual Story Editing | Project Management: Democracy + Communism: 3. Cuba + Bulgaria, in Layers: Paskova_Yana_007

My grandmother (center) and grandfather (second from right) walk alongside coworkers during the annual Labor Day march in Bulgaria in the 1970s. In the color photo, a man marching during during the 1st of May Labor Day March in Havana, Cuba, holds onto a makeshift Chilean flag. This day, simply labeled Día del Trabajo (Labor Day,) is a call for people of all nations to show support for socialist reform — and in Cuba, for the Cuban Revolution. But in Cuba, as in pre-1989 Bulgaria, while attendance is not mandatory, absences from these marches are frequently noted, discouraged, and often followed with punitive measures (social and professional.) Fraying family pictures from pre-1989 Bulgaria inspired this portion of a long-term project on Democracy + Communism. The parallels between them and photos I'd taken in present-day Cuba surface best when juxtaposed — one image layered on top of the other. And so, I attempt to bridge one country’s past to another country’s present — to show that political ideals, its profiteers and its victims, can remain unchanged by time or geography.

My grandmother (center) and grandfather (second from right) walk alongside coworkers during the annual Labor Day march in Bulgaria in the 1970s. In the color photo, a man marching during during the 1st of May Labor Day March in Havana, Cuba, holds onto a makeshift Chilean flag. This day, simply labeled Día del Trabajo (Labor Day,) is a call for people of all nations to show support for socialist reform — and in Cuba, for the Cuban Revolution. But in Cuba, as in pre-1989 Bulgaria, while attendance is not mandatory, absences from these marches are frequently noted, discouraged, and often followed with punitive measures (social and professional.)  

Fraying family pictures from pre-1989 Bulgaria inspired this portion of a long-term project on Democracy + Communism. The parallels between them and photos I'd taken in present-day Cuba surface best when juxtaposed — one image layered on top of the other. And so, I attempt to bridge one country’s past to another country’s present — to show that political ideals, its profiteers and its victims, can remain unchanged by time or geography.