Fidel's Cell / Edition of 9

Presidio Modelo (Model Prison) was built on Isla de la Juventud between 1926 and 1928. Fidel Castro was imprisoned here from 1953 to 1955. After the revolution, Fidel, in turn, used the prison to jail political dissidents, counter-revolutionaries, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and anyone else considered “unfit.” Architecturally, it is considered the only prison in the world based on the true Panopticon design of the late 18th century, which allows a watchman to observe all inmates without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. The prison was explored using pitch-black tunnels designed to give guards access to the central tower. The prison was photographed from many angles but only one image managed to capture the vastness of the prison symmetrically with the solitude of an individual cell overlooking the ocean.