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Cuba Down


by Andrea Fucà

Published June 2024

"Cuba Down" is a project that investigates the reality of those born with Down syndrome in Santiago de Cuba. The project delves into the most intimate aspects of their lives, seeking to understand, through their experiences, the social aspects of a complex country like Cuba.

The situation for individuals with Down syndrome in Cuba is quite challenging. The state provides special schools for people with Down syndrome, categorized based on the individuals' disabilities, and offers specialized educational programs from preschool to high school. There is no program to support them outside the school system. After completing the education program, the responsibility is left to their families, who receive only a small financial contribution from the state. These individuals become accustomed to interacting with their family, limiting their interactions with others like them and further leading to forms of isolation.

This project focuses on the concept of isolation, showing the nuanced aspects that Down syndrome can manifest, analyzing them across various social classes, and understanding the extreme situation where lack of care and school attendance can lead.

Andrea Fucà

Andrea Fucà was born in Palermo, Italy in 1991. He lived in Palermo until 2013 when he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Energy Engineering. Since 2013, he has been living in Turin where he earned a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Energy Engineering, a field that he currently works in.

His journey into photojournalism began in Palermo as a self-taught photographer, where he started to document the neighborhoods of the historic city center. However, in 2021, he decided to expand his expertise by taking his first photography course and participating in a workshop in Milan.

In 2022, following his initial photographic learning experience, he enrolled in Valerio Bispuri’s long-term reportage and storytelling school, where he has been a student since. It was from that moment on that he began his long-term reportage project to tell the story of Down syndrome. Initially, the project focused on Down syndrome in Italy, but after studying in Santiago de Cuba, he decided to expand the scope of the project to portray the lives of people with Down syndrome around the world.

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