– I am currently editing much of my work in Haiti. There will be an updated posting of the resulting folio shortly. For now, here follows an updated statement.
Haiti is on the USA’s doorstep. It is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and by many indicators, both economic and social, among the poorest and most at-risk nations in the world. Its history reads as one of a steadily darkening downward spiral. This nation, less than 30 years younger than its sibling republic, the USA, seems to careen drunkenly from one tragedy to another. Once a primary supplier of sugar, coffee, tobacco, indigo, cotton and cacao to Europe, Haiti has gone from a forest cover of 60% of it’s territory to less than 1% today. Similarly, its distribution of civic resources, educational systems, social services, health care, legal and regulatory frameworks, and core government infrastructure have been in catastrophic conditions for decades. In short, Haiti is manifesting all of what are largely believed to be the most troubling global issues of the 21st century: the environment, population and development, water and food, health and education and transparent and sustained government.
“This is a country in search of itself” said Haitian poet Syto Cavé. Strange that I increasingly believe the global community needs to pay attention to Haiti not so much to save, urgent as that need is, a desperate population from disaster, but more importantly, in order to find itself, in order to protect itself from the worst possible outcomes of cultural, political and environmental opportunism and neglect; the problem of Haiti matters to all of us. The photographic work here is my effort at trying to make sense of this complex dynamic. It is a narrative of disintegration and resuscitation, a traverse through a series of themes and lives. What manifests in Haiti becomes relevant to all of us through the minute rendering of facts and concerns.