Entry Title: ” Cuba: Semper Fidel”
Name: Amanda Rivkin, United States
Entry Description: Twenty-one years after official Washington declared communism dead with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unraveling of the Soviet Union, life in Fidel and Raúl Castro’s socialized Cuba chugs along, fifty-one years after Fidel first took power in the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Cuba’s current situation is not without economic and social absurdity however as Cubans receive rationed fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat and bread with government-issued ration cards at subsidized prices but must fend for themselves in most other respects, including clothing and with the notable exception of health care and medicine. Two currencies, the Cuban national peso is used to pay for many basic goods and services, but is challenged by the dominance of the Cuban convertible peso, are in wide circulation.
About the Artist:
Amanda Rivkin, 24, is a photojournalist currently based in her hometown, Chicago. She has photographed for Agence France Presse/Getty Images, Der Spiegel, The New York Times, Newsweek, among others. Her work has appeared on the front pages of Le Monde, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and in such international publications as The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and The London Sunday Times Magazine. Since early 2008, Amanda has been based in Chicago. She has covered Illinois and national politics including Barack Obama’s election night victory, transition to the presidency, and historic inauguration, the corruption scandal surrounding Rod Blagojevich and his final day in the Illinois governor’s office where she was the sole photographer to shadow him for The New York Times. Amanda produced several features surrounding the financial crisis and its impact on the midwestern United States as well as spot news, features, and personal projects on a range of topics including public housing, education, and immigration. Additionally she has received support and funding to pursue stories and other reporting opportunities in Ethiopia, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Spain and the United States. She speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and Polish. Amanda previously worked as a writer and researcher for news media, policy, diplomatic, and cultural organizations and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Amanda will relocate to Washington, D.C. in August 2009 to complete a one year master’s degree in terrorism and sub-state violence in the security studies program at the Georgetown University Edmund Walsh Graduate School of Foreign Service.
National Geographic Weekend Radio Program with Boyd Matson (Airdate: May 1, 2010)
“Photographer and National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Amanda Rivkin recently returned from Cuba. Rivkin joins Boyd to talk about her work documenting everyday life in Cuba.”