Dimitris Sideridis is a Greek senior photographer and visual artist whose award-winning work has appeared in some of the world’s biggest digital publications, among others. Born in Istanbul, he is currently based between Athens and Doha and produces content on a wide range of social and anthropological issues.
He is a frequent collaborator with CNN, providing images and copy for travel features reported from Qatar, Greece, Cyprus and elsewhere. Likewise, he is a longtime contributor to Al Jazeera English covering diverse topics related to the refugee crisis, politics and culture.
In 2020, “Rafael Trejo – Dukes on the Ropes”, his self-published photobook about a legendary boxing gym in Havana, won the Gold Award at The Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3) in the category Professional/Documentary.
His work has been honoured at a number of prestigious competitions with International awards and mentions, while his images have been exhibited both in Greece and internationally.
He holds a master’s degree in Photography and Visual Language (with Distinction) from the Middlesex University of London (scholarship).
Sports play an important role in Cuba’s educational system. Along with baseball, boxing is considered the country’s top sport with a long tradition in producing high-level athletes who have won international recognition and titles.
“Rafael Trejo”, is an historic gym that acts as an incubator for young talents.
The gym is just as revolutionary as the man after whom it was named: Rafael Trejo Gonzalez, who was assassinated while leading a student protest in 1930 against the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado. The brutal crackdown by security forces shocked the nation, marking a turning point for the dictatorship and eventually leading to the end of Machado’s reign.
Leading coach Nardo Mestre Flores described “Rafael Trejo” as Cuba’s most important gym –a place that has long been tasked with keeping alive the country’s rich boxing culture.
In 1961, the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro banned professional sports, including boxing. A few years ago, however, the laws banning professional sports were relaxed.
Today there are more than 20,000 boxers in Cuba, 500 coaches and about 200 training facilities.