Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Haitian Artists' Visions of Home

How often now do you think about the January 12 earthquake that took a quarter of a million Haitian lives and left behind a physically ravaged nation? When was the last time you wondered what's happening in Haiti? What more you might do?

This island nation's story is far from over. It continues in the daily effort to avoid infection with disease, to find food, to deal with lawlessness, to cope with homelessness, to be a child who's lost a limb, to find enough hope in the face of so much destruction. 

What remains remarkable is the determined spirit with which the Haitians carry on. 

That spirit is captured in the photographs of award-winning National Geographic photographer Maggie Steber, who has been covering Haiti for more than 20 years, and in the artworks of more than 30 Haitian artists that will go on view this Friday, June 25, at The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm, in Washington, D.C.

In "Through Their Eyes: Haitian Artists' Visions of Home", we get a chance to see Haiti post-earthquake: in Steber's beautiful photojournalism, in traditional hand-sequined Vodou flags created by Haiti's artisans, in the more than 100 photographs and handcrafts produced by Haitian children seeking through art a path to healing.

All of the exhibition's artworks and handcrafts, provided by The American Visionary Art Museum, Zanmi Lakay, and Art Creation Foundation for Children, will be available for purchase, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to Haiti relief.

The exhibition's opening reception on June 25 is from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 1632 U Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.; telephone 202-483-8600. The show continues through August 7. Gallery hours are Wednesday - Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., and by appointment.

Image above at left: Man Doing a Handstand by the River, 2010, by Cheldine Bazile, age 15, Jacmel, Haiti

Photo essays and personal reflections by Steber:

✭ "Essay: No End of Trouble. Ever." in The New York Times, January 13, 2010

✭ "Essay: A Culture in Jeopardy, Too" in The New York Times, January 21, 2010

✭ "A Second Death in a Haitian Cemetery" in The New York Times, May 18, 2010


Roger Bergman, "Maggie Steber: Artist in Haiti Between Heaven and Hell", Center for the Study of Religion and Society (Fall 1994)

Do1Thing for Haiti: 

Photojournalist Maggie Steber speaks about the power of images from Chuck Fadely on Vimeo.


M.L. Gallagher said...

Wish I could be there! I will be in New York at the end of September....

sherri said...

This is wonderful- enjoyed the video clip- her words are so true. What a gift . I'm going to Haiti on the 4th of July. Looking forward to serving there. Thank you for this timely post for me.

Another great visual book, is VISUALIZE HAITI, Alecia Settle. She has been going there for the last ten years. 100% of her book profits go directly to these people to help end world hunger.

Kathleen Overby said...

Blunt truth. It is creepy how we forget so soon. I never tire of pictures of Haiti. For some reason the colors seem more vibrant than any other country.

Anonymous said...

Incredible photographs. Weird the beauty of her photograph in the midst of such turmoil.

sarah said...

it is great how you continue to keep this in people's awareness, now that the spotlight has left the place.

S. Etole said...

The images are raw and strong ...