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Small World Syndrome

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May 2016 update. I was attending a meeting at my local photo club LSPS and was approached by a woman, who's photographic style I very much admire, but had never met before. She introduced herself, and told me she'd been looking on my website, and in particular at a picture of a woman I'd taken in Cuba more than 20 years ago. Check the Cuba Gallery for my original image of Rosa.The irony is she knows something of this woman. She's corrected me on the statue in the background which is not the Virgin Mary, and has now reached out to share a picture with me. She was kind of enough to contact me, and I'm hoping to learn more about this story.It's reminiscent of the Afghani Girl that showed up on a National Geographic cover with riveting eyes, if you're a similar age to me, you'll know the one I'm referring to, it was taken by Steve McCurry. He went back after several years to see how her story had turned out.

Here's the update from Hilary Roberts: Here is my picture of Rosa. (And two others that I did at the same time – which was 2003!) She was living in that house, sitting in that window, for years. We were friendly with a doctor and his wife, who lived in Havana. He said he saw her as his granny, although they weren’t actually related. So we spent time with her and them in the house. But the doctor finally cast us off, because we declined his proposal to pay for them to emigrate to Norway. And the next time we went to Trinidad Rosa was gone and the house turned into a restaurant.

The statue in the background, which came from a disused church, is Santa Barbara. I don’t know whether Rosa saw her as St Barbara or as her Santaria equivalent of Chango, the god of fire and thunder and lightening.

Check Hilary's website out, some very nice work there: Hilary Roberts