By Jorge Silva
It was during my eternal search for unique moments to capture that I was witness to the most spectacular and magical event – the arrival of a new life.
The United Nations announced the pending birth of the planet’s inhabitant number 7,000,000 for October 31, and that gave me the chance to work on a series of photos that became the most emotional and satisfying of my career.
The moment a baby is born is doubtless one of the most intimate and special in the life of a woman and her family, and sharing that intimacy as a privileged observer was sensational. To live that experience without having become a father yet was even more moving.
All emotions came to the surface during the birthing. The most intense pain together with the most tender caresses and great joy, all played together during the demonstration of tireless work and strength of the medical staff. They were images of the efforts necessary to give birth, and the struggle for integral health.
Inside the maternity services in Caracas I focused my story on the contrasting visions of the public health system called Barrio Adentro (Into the Shantytowns) run by doctors from the Cuban mission in Guatire, in the slums of Caracas, and that of the Aquamater Clinic, a private hospital specializing in underwater birthing in Caracas’ wealthier east.