Coleb Laforest studying for a college entrance exam. Zanmi Lasan

Coleb Laforest studying for a college entrance exam. Zanmi Lasante, Cange, Haiti. March, 2007

Another one of those pre-dawn ambles, but this time in Cange, in the central mountains of Haiti. On a hilltop at the center of Zanmi Lasante’s hospital complex, I came across Coleb studying for an entrance exam to medical school. Beyond him, the denuded hills and ‘mountains beyond mountains’ – a Haitian proverb that acknowledges the perpetual nature of hardship.

Coleb’s ambition and desire to look after his people, as he put it, was like an upheld palm facing all those mountains. This image is in a central point of the current exhibition at the University Art Gallery in Sewanee. For me, it is one of the most inspiring and hopeful images from my Haiti work.

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Installation photographs of The Third Heaven at the University Art Gallery, Sewanee. Open until OCtober 18, 2013.

Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar lens, Ilford HP5 film, processed in Pyro PMK