Left - The path to democracy is, at times, lonely. Bozhidar Tomalevski, chairman of the political party Drugata Bulgaria (The Other Bulgaria, which represents Bulgarian emigrants,) waits for protesters against bank KTB (Corporate Commercial Bank,) before a planned picketing event in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on November 08, 2014. Despite widespread outrage over the bank's closing, after which customers were no longer able to access their money, only a handful of people arrived. The protest was canceled.
"Democracy is a habit. And many here consider it a singular person's effort, not a collective one," said Tomalevski on this protest's scant attendance.
Right - A participant in a march organized by the wives and female relatives of imprisoned political dissidents rests by a tree in Havana, Cuba on April 26, 2015. The opposition group, Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White,) attends Mass at Santa Rita church each Sunday, then marches around it clad in white, as a symbol of peace. Most complain of regular beatings and detainment - with one of the largest reported (75 of the group's members) in 2011 and 2012. In Catholic countries, Saint Rita is known as the patroness of impossible causes, or heartbroken women.
Similarly, during the communist era in Eastern Europe, many Bulgarians spent years of their youth or old age imprisoned in gulag-like forced labor camps for alleged political dissident activities.
I've used diptychs to bridge one country’s past - communist Cuba - to another country’s present - post-1989 Bulgaria - to show that political ideals, its profiteers and its victims, can remain unchanged by time or geography.