2019 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 1st Prize

The Cubanitas


Diana Markosian

Magnum Photos

06 August, 2018

Pura rides around her neighborhood in a pink 1950s convertible, as the community gathers to celebrate her fifteenth birthday, in Havana, Cuba. 

A girl’s quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) is a Latino coming-of-age tradition marking transition into womanhood. It is a gender specific rite of passage, traditionally showcasing a girl’s purity and readiness for marriage. Families go to great expense, often celebrating with a lavish party. The girl dresses as a princess, living out a fantasy and perceived idea of femininity. In Cuba, the tradition has transformed into a performance involving photo and video shoots, often documented in a photobook. Pura’s quinceañera had a special poignancy, as some years earlier, having been diagnosed with a brain tumor, she was told she would not live beyond the age of 13.


About the photographer

Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian is an artist known for her collaborative approach to storytelling, which embraces uncertainty as a tool to craft the narrative. She explores themes of family and ...

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