Ernesto Fernández Nogueras (Havana, 1939)

Ernesto Fernández is renowned as one of the four great photographers of Cuba’s revolutionary period, alongside Alberto Korda, Roberto Salas and Raúl Corrales.  He studied photography in the 1950s, and later graduated from the University of Havana in 1979 with a degree in journalism.

As a young man he witnessed both the excesses of Havana as a “playground” of the USA, and the poverty that produced the hotbed of revolutionary thought and action.  He was in the Cuban capital as the revolution reached its climax, and his pictures document a time of great hope.  They are celebrations of youth’s ability to bring about change and to reinvent a new world.

“I produce my images with a sense of great duty,” Fernández has said, “and I do it with a great deal of love.  It is the only way they can come out perfect… For a photographic work to be of the highest quality, the aesthetic experience has to be brought together with the transcendent values of bearing witness.”

He is only the second photographer ever to be awarded Cuba’s National Prize for the Visual Arts (2011).