2019 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Singles, 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.



Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian was born in Russia and grew up in California, USA. Markosian is a Magnum photographer whose work explores the deeply personal, from documenting the lives of yo...

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