Guide to the Deena Stryker photographs, 1963-1964 and undated
Journalist and photographer. The Deena Stryker photographs collection contains photographs, negatives, and contact sheets generated by the journalist then known as Deena Boyer during two trips to Cuba between July 1963 and July 1964, as well as exhibit prints produced in 2010. During her second trip to the island, Stryker interviewed and photographed Fidel and Raúl Castro as well as other major figures in the Cuban Revolution such as Che Guevara and Vilma Espín. Topics and photographic subjects include key members of the revolutionary government at work and relaxing; and life in Havana and in rural Cuba, focusing on shops, street scenes, rallies, farms, development projects, and schools. There is a draft of the book prepared for publication in Italian by Stryker about her Cuba trips. Stryker's original negatives were processed in Cuba by Alberto Korda, Fidel Castro's personal photographer. All of Stryker's negatives have been digitized and are available online. Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
- Collection Number
- Deena Stryker photographs
- 1963-1964 and undated
- Stryker, Deena
- 6.5 Linear Feet, 2579 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English and Spanish
The Deena Stryker Photographs collection spans the dates 1963-1964 and contains photographs and related material from Stryker's time in Cuba as a journalist for Paris Match. During her stay, she interviewed and photographed Fidel and Raúl Castro as well as other male and female leaders in the Cuban Revolution, including Ernesto “Ché” Guevara, Juan Almeida, Luis Crespo, Armando Acosta, Armando Hart Dávalos, Efigenio Ameijeiras Delgado, Faustino Pérez, Manuel Fajardo Sotomayor, César Escalante, Jesus Montane, Antonio Núñez Jímenez, Guillermo García Frías, Celia Sánchez, Ramiro Valdes Menendez, and René Vallejo.
The Photographic Materials Series contains Stryker's contact sheets, prints, and negatives created during the one-year period; all the photographic material processed by Alberto Korda, Fidel Castro's personal photographer. Topics and photographic subjects include key members of the revolutionary government, male and female, at work and relaxing with family members; life in Havana, including neighborhood and street scenes, and post-revolution housing projects; political rallies and meetings; and daily life and work in rural Cuba, particularly farms, agricultural workers, development projects, and schools. There are also images of Afro Cubans, religious life, and photos of major events such as the Havana trial of accused Batista collaborator Marcos Alfonso in March 1964, and the capture of Cuban fishing vessels by the U.S. Coast Guard in Feb. 1964.
The Correspondence Series contains letters of introduction to Fidel Castro from Stryker as well as one written by Sánchez and a diagram drawn by Raúl Castro. Stryker's analysis of the complexities of nascent post-revolution Cuba is captured in an Italian manuscript draft of the book she prepared for publication in Italy, housed in the Manuscript Materials Series.
An addition to the collection consists of prints produced from the original negatives by documentary photographer Cedric Chatterley for a 2010 exhibit on Deena Stryker's work, with a few other prints used in the exhibit created by Alberto Korda in the 1960s.
All of Stryker's negatives have been digitized and these images are available in their digital form. There are some prints and contact sheet images not represented digitally. Digital images and captions created by the photographer have been transferred to a library server.
Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.Conditions Governing Access note
Original negatives are closed to research use. Please consult with a reference archivist for reproduction requests.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Deena Stryker photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Contains a letter from Stryker to Fidel Castro inquiring about the possibility of interviewing him, a letter of introduction for Stryker written by Celia Sánchez, and a sketch of the Cuban military command structure hand-drawn and signed by Raúl Castro.
Contains an edited draft of Cronache dall'isola dei diavoli rossi, Stryker's unpublished Italian manuscript account and analysis of Cuban politics and society based on her time there; it became the basis for When the revolution was young, published in 2004.
Consists of contact sheets, prints, and negatives of photographs taken by Stryker while in Cuba from December 1963 to June 1964. Captions were created by the photographer. All photographic films were processed by Alberto Korda, Cuba's official photographer during the revolution. Series includes numerous photographs of Fidel Castro acting in his official role, speaking at rallies and parades, visiting farms, and awaiting the return of Cuban fishing boats detained by the U.S. government. In addition, Stryker documents Fidel Castro relaxing at home with friends, exercising, and writing. Other prominent revolutionaries and government individuals photographed include: Ernesto “Ché” Guevara, Juan Almeida, Luis Crespo, Armando Acosta, Armando Hart Dávalos, Efigenio Ameijeiras Delgado, Faustino Pérez, Manuel Fajardo Sotomayor, César Escalante, Jesus Montane, Antonio Núñez Jímenez, Guillermo García Frías, Celia Sánchez, Ramiro Valdes Menendez, and René Vallejo.
Other photographs chronicle life in Havana, including Carnaval, as well as the Cuban countryside, particularly the Sierra Madre and Isla de Turiguanó, Bayamo, Camagüey, and Guamá. Two rolls of film document the damage to cane fields and villages in rural Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Flora in late 1963. Many of the contact sheets are annotated. Negatives, contact sheets, and prints are organized sequentially by film roll; uncategorized prints and prints without negatives appear at the end of the series. All of Stryker's negatives have been digitized and these images are available in their digital form. There are a few prints and contact sheets not represented digitally.
Most of these black-and-white gelatin silver prints were produced by documentary photographer Cedric Chatterley expressly for a 2010 exhibit on Stryker's work. The prints were derived from Stryker's original negatives housed in this collection; others were derived from prints produced earlier by Alberto Korda. The prints in the first set (boxes 3-4) are in window mats and were the final selection chosen for hanging in the 2010 exhibit. The rest of the prints (Box 5) are unmatted. In this box there is one set of 10 prints produced by Chatterley, with two duplicate sets; plus, The number of duplicates for an image is noted in parentheses following the original exhibit print.
The 22 black-and-white prints in boxes 3 and 4 measure 7x10.5 in. and are mounted in 16x22 mats. One set of 22 duplicate unmatted prints are located in box 5.
Orig. print number: 1092513-R3-E330
Orig. print number: 6666673-R3-E219
Fidel Castro at the Paula Pier in Havana harbor awaiting the return of crew members from four Cuban fishing vessels captured by the United States Coast Guard
Orig. print number: 6666663-R3-E350
The trial of Marcos "Marquitos" Rodriguez Alfonso, who was accused of working for dictator Fulgencio Batista's secret police in 1957
Orig. print number: 6666673-R3-E177
Orig. print number: 6666673-R3-E267
Raul Castro and his daughter Deborah Castro Espín, the first of his four children with Vilma Espín Guillois, a fellow revolutionary and founder of the Cuban Women's Federation. This image provides a rare look at the father/daughter relationship. Raul Castro later became the President of the Cuban Council of State and the Council of Ministers. His daughter was an advisor to the Ministry of Education.
Orig. print number: 1092513-R4-E457
Celia Sanchez was the organizer of the first all female guerrilla brigade (Brigada Mariana Grajales) in the 26th of July Movement and a key official of the post-1959 government. She served as the Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of State, as a member of the National Assembly, a member of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, and was one of Fidel Castro's closest advisors. She directed many post-revolutionary construction projects and is shown here at the site of La Guira National Park.
Orig. print number: 1092513-R2-E291
Orig. print number: 1092513-R3-E395
Carlos Rafael Rodriguez was a writer, economist and political protagonist whose activism crossed multiple phases of Cuban history. He participated in the overthrow of dictator Gerardo Machado in the 1930s; served as a Cabinet Minister under Fulgencio Batista in the 1940s and in 1958 negotiated an agreement between the Cuban Communist Party, of which he was a prominent member, and Fidel Castro in support of the overthrow of Batista. After 1959 he held various senior positions in the revolutionary government. Author Tad Szulc called him, "A most affable man of considerable learning and sophistication as well as a prolific writer, he has been Fidel's most valuable collaborator, politically and intellectually, since the 1959 victory."
Orig. print number: 1092513-R2-E297
Commandante Juan Almeida Bosque, one of the Cuban Revolution's most prominent commanders and perhaps the highest-ranking Afro-Cuban in a position of political leadership. Almeida was active in the Communist Party and served as Vice-President of the Cuban Council of State.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R3-E596
Commandante Ramiro Valdes, one of the original members of the revolutionary 26th of July Movement and Cuba's Vice President under Raul Castro.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R2-E188
Orig. print number: 1092531-R1-E079
After 1959, Havana expanded toward the east with construction of housing projects like La Habana del Este.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R2-E206
A café and store in Biran, Fidel Castro's home town. Biran lay within the zone of the U.S.-owned United Fruit Company.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R3-E429
Despite their relative lack of visibility in the revolutionary leadership after 1959, women played an important role in the struggle against Batista.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R3-E382
An image of Fidel rises behind a May Day parade. The quote says, "We have made a revolution greater than ourselves. Marxism-Leninism Lives!"
Orig. print number: 1092513-R4-E446
Orig. print number: 1092531-R3-E273
Those who were born in the years before the Revolution and came of age within it, like this young boy photographed in Palma Soriano, occupy a unique sociological niche in Cuba's generational landscape.
Orig. print number: 1092513-R1-E095
Treasure Lagoon, a resort built on drained swamp near Bay of Pigs. The construction of new recreation facilities for workers reflected the Cuban government's interest in converting its lucrative and foreign dominated pre-revolutionary tourist industry for domestic use.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R2-E227
A view of construction in the eastern section of the country. The new government built throughout the island in an effort to reduce migration to the capital as occurred in other Latin American countries.
Orig. print number: 1092531-R3-E528
A class at the Makarenko Teacher's Institute, founded as a training site for "revolutionary instructors." Many students were former participants in the 1961 Literacy Campaign. The campaign, which mobilized a quarter of a million young people to teach more than 700,000 rural Cubans to read and write, reduced the country's illiteracy rate from 23% to 4%
Orig. print number: 1092531-R3-E330
Socialization to the values and icons of the new revolutionary society took place not only in schools but through popular culture products like toys and cartoons.
Orig. print number: 1092513-R4-E435
Box contains prints produced by Cedric Chatterley, documentary photographer, in 2010. There is one complete set of 22 duplicate prints of the matted prints in boxes 3-4; one set of 10 prints with different images that were used in the online exhibit (with 2 duplicate sets, for a total of 3 sets of 10 prints each); and one set of 9 prints that are selected second duplicates of the matted prints. The online exhibit also displays several images that are not present in the Exhibit Prints Series.
Three sets of 10 identical duplicates each.
Orig. print number: 1092513-R2-E255
Includes images of Fidel Castro from Paris Match, and an article on Cuba by Stryker from the Italian magazine Settimo Giorno (1963-1964).
Deena Stryker (1933- ), formerly Deena Boyer, was born in the United States, received her Baccalaureate in Paris, and began work as a multilingual journalist at the Agence France-Presse in Rome in 1958. She lived in Poland and Hungry in the late 1960s where she worked in radio. She did graduate work in Global Survival and Future Studies at the University of Massachusetts from 1974 to 1975, and during the Carter administration was a speech writer for Joe Duffy, the Assistant Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs from 1977 to 1978. Stryker has lived and worked in France, Italy, Cuba, Holland, the United States, and Eastern Europe.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Archive of Documentary Arts (Duke University)
- Castro, Fidel, 1926-
- Castro Ruz, Raúl, 1930-
- Espín, Guillois, Vilma, 1930-2007
- Guevara, Ernesto, 1928-1967
- Korda, Alberto, 1928-2001
- Stryker, Deena
- Stryker, Deena
- Cuba -- Politics and government -- 1959-1990
- Cuba -- History -- 1959-1990
- Cuba -- Social conditions -- 1959-1990
- Cuba -- Description and travel
- Cuba -- Foreign relations -- 1959-1990
- Cuba -- Economic conditions -- 1959-1990
- Havana (Cuba) -- Social conditions -- 1959-1990
The Deena Stryker photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 2008.
Original processing by Christian Ferney, May 2008.
Encoded by Christian Ferney, Noah Huffman, and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, June 2008.
Exhibit prints processed and described by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico and Matthew Warren, February 2013.
Accession 2008-0064 is described in this finding aid.