Covid-19: At the Beginning

by | Jun 17, 2021

These photos by Luis Cristóbal Acosta Castro were chosen for the exhibit “Documenting the Impact of Covid-19 through Photography: Collective Isolation in Latin America,” curated in collaboration with ReVista and the Art, Culture, and Film program at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS.) 

The exhibition, based on an Open Call for Photography launched in July 2020, aims to create a critical visual record of our unprecedented times so they can be remembered by future generations. 

The photos from Panama were taken in March 2020….how many helping hands, how many stranded passengers, how many lone cellists have gone by in the meantime, how many have struggled, how many have died, how many have survived. Fifteen months ago, it could not be imagined that Latin America and much of the rest of the world would still be battling the Covid-19 virus. Yet even then, Acosta Castro’s vivid photos give us reasons for hope.  

Cellist from sky

Uruguayan cellist Karina Nunez playing on the balcony of her apartment in Panama City on March 23, 2020, during the mandatory isolation from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. as a preventive measure against the spread of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus. – Over a 24-hour period, in a world where a third of humanity is now under orders to stay home, AFP photographers have captured snapshots of daily life during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Luis ACOSTA 

Hope Shadow

Passengers of Holland America’s cruise ship Zaandam are seen as the ship navigates through the Panama Canal in Panama City, on March 29, 2020. Passengers on a virus-stricken cruise liner stranded off Panama in Central America were told Sunday the company was still searching for a port which will allow them to disembark, even as they pleaded for help. Photo by Luis ACOSTA.

A Friendly hand

A nurse takes care of a patient infected with the novel coronavirus Covid-19 in the  Intensive Care Unit at the Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital Complex, in Panama City on July 4, 2020. – Panama was the country at the time with the highest rate of Covid-19 cases in Central  America and the Caribbean. Photo by Luis ACOSTA.

Luis Acosta Castro began his career as a photographer for the mayor of Bogotá, Antanas Mockus, in his first term in office 1994. In 1996, he was part of the graphic team of the magazine La Nota Económica, in 1998, he worked for the magazine Cambio 16, where covered the Colombian armed conflict. Between 1999 and 2000 he collaborated with the Reuters agency, and since 2001, I’m part of the group of correspondents of the Agence France Presse for Latin America. He is now Chief of Photography for Central America and the Caribbean of AFP.

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