On November 6th I fly into Port Au Prince, Haiti, volunteering a month of my time to create new photography, video and writing, for two non-profits working tirelessly in the country; a small organization, the Haitian and Caribbean Organization of Texas (http://www.hacaot.org/), and a much larger one, Partners In Health (http://www.pih.org/). With HACAOT, I’ll be joining a Haitian run medical team traveling to remote villages in the northern part of the island, giving me intimate access to the people and their daily lives. With PIH, I’ll be in the central interior of Haiti as well as Port Au Prince, documenting families whose lives have been changed (and saved) by PIH’s 25 year presence in the region. In Port Au Prince, I’ll record the more immediate recovery from the earthquake in 2010.
The visual record I plan to create tells the story of how a people are rebuilding their nation against overwhelming odds, where survival is an accomplishment in and of itself. It portrays the faces of a people whose aspirations are similar to ours, reflecting the plurality of our common human identity. It is essential, when the media forgets, turns its interest to the next story, that we do not look away.
Another aspect of my work will be to document and raise awareness of the cholera epidemic which continues to ravage the country. Over 420,000 people have been affected by the cholera outbreak and 6,000 have died. It’s the most catastrophic epidemic the hemisphere has seen in decades.
The work I do in Haiti will be without compensation, along with an additional month at home editing photos and video. All of the video and still photography will be donated to HACAOT and PIH. In addition, I plan to create both a traveling print exhibit, and a multi-media educational presentation to build awareness and remind us of Haiti’s needs.