Yuma – Gustavo Jononovich
This week’s feature is by Argentinian photographer Gustavo Jononovich.
Yuma is what Cubans call foreigners. I traveled to Cuba in early 2011 because my girlfriend decided to do an internship in a hospital in La Habana. She’s a doctor. Until then, I had always made photographs guided by a specific theme, trying to tell something about other people’s misfortunes. I decided to experience photography in a different way this time. I wasn’t really interested in telling or describing anything about the well-known political and historical characteristics of the Cuban system. I didn’t want to look for “useful situations”. I just tried to forget that I was there.
Liberating myself of having to tell something about Cuba allowed me to connect in a more authentic way with the place. Photographing using only my instinct allowed me to discover what I was feeling. My method was to walk the same streets over and over again, in silence, just focusing in contemplating. I sometimes felt attracted to the expressivity of the shapes and textures and to the simple beauty of nature. Other times I felt I was just photographing my own sense of calmness or the mystery that Cuba inspired me.
Gustavo Jononovich was born in Argentina in 1979. He began his studies in photography in 2002. In 2006, he started working as a professional photographer covering local news for the Argentine media.
Since 200, his main focus is long-term projects and providing an in-depth analysis on the stories. His first book project, Richland (currently in progress), is about the over-exploitation of the natural resources in Latin America and the resulting long-term negative effects, both human and environmental.
His work has been published in BURN magazine, Newsweek Japan, PRIVATE photo review, and PDFX12, among others. Gustavo’s main accolades include a grant from the Manuel Rivera Ortiz Foundation, a nomination for the ICP Infinity Award in Photojournalism (2010) and awards from Sony World Photography Organization (2012, 2nd place Contemporary issues), POYi Latin America (2011, 2nd place in migration and human trafficking category) and Emerging Photographer Fund Grant (2012, Finalist)