Haiti – The Ongoing Struggle by Giles Clarke

The last 230 years of Haiti's history, from the days of Napoleonic slavery and the ensuing 'black revolution', is a struggle etched deep into the soul of the Haitian people. In 1804, after years of colonial fighting and over 120,000 slave deaths
'THE EPICENTER'- LEOGANE, HAITI. JANUARY 19, 2015. An unposed moment of a young man on his motorcycle outside the crumbling ruin of a building in Leogane, some 25 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince. Following the devastating 7.0 earthquake in January 2010, a United Nations disaster-response assessment team reported that this was 'the worst-hit area' with over 25,000 deaths and upward of 80% of all concrete structures destroyed.

“Listen to our cries,
Observe all the fear and devastation that surround us.
Listen to our hearts beating, pounding loudly.
Without hope, how in the world can we cope?
Many of us have lost faith and many of us too have found it.
God, how could this be, why me, why our country? “

(From ‘Hope for Haiti’ – by Haitian poet Marckincia Jean written in 2015)

'THE EPICENTER'- LEOGANE, HAITI. JANUARY 19, 2015. An unposed moment of a young man on his motorcycle outside the crumbling ruin of a building in Leogane, some 25 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince. Following the devastating 7.0 earthquake in January 2010, a United Nations disaster-response assessment team reported that this was 'the worst-hit area' with over 25,000 deaths and upward of 80% of all concrete structures destroyed.
‘THE EPICENTER’- LEOGANE, HAITI. JANUARY 19, 2015. An unposed moment of a young man on his motorcycle outside the crumbling ruin of a building in Leogane, some 25 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince. Following the devastating 7.0 earthquake in January 2010, a United Nations disaster-response assessment team reported that this was ‘the worst-hit area’ with over 25,000 deaths and upward of 80% of all concrete structures destroyed.

The last 230 years of Haiti’s history, from the days of Napoleonic slavery and the ensuing ‘black revolution’, is a struggle etched deep into the soul of the Haitian people.

In 1804, after years of colonial fighting and over 120,000 slave deaths, the Haitian Republic was born after France finally surrendered to local slave resistance leaders. The new Haiti Republic then immediately abolished slavery and soon became a center of inspiration for slave freedom everywhere.

'MOURNING IN THE CEMETERY' - PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 12, 2015. On the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake, a young child stands to the side of her mourning mother who lies weeping nearby in the Grand Cemetery of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.
‘MOURNING IN THE CEMETERY’ – PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 12, 2015. On the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake, a young child stands to the side of her mourning mother who lies weeping nearby in the Grand Cemetery of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

Despite being the oldest ‘Black Republic’ in the world, Haiti has since been enslaved in many other ways – mostly by brutal dictators, subversive Western Government influence and the resulting deep corruption and social oppression. This long-standing instability has forced Haiti onto a long and bitter road in its seemingly endless struggle for freedom.
More recently, the massively destructive 7.0 earthquake in 2010, which killed over 230,000 people, left deeply troubled nation on its knees once more. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew then hit the western part of the island causing catastrophic damage and killed more than 800 people. A few days after the hurricane passed through, the severely-affected region was then facing cholera and another huge wave of despair and misery.

This photo story, created after multiple visits to the country over the past three years, are moments that depict the Ongoing struggle that Haiti faces today.
(Giles Clarke/Getty Images Reportage)

'RIDING WITH UN PEACEKEEPERS' - CITE SOLEIL, PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 10, 2015. A young boy runs after and shouts at UN Peacekeepers while on patrol in a troubled neighborhood of downtown Port-Au-Prince. Following the 2010 earthquake, a United Nations peacekeeping base upstream from the capital was later found out to be the source of what became the worst cholera outbreak in the beleaguered nation's history. The Brazilian UN Peacekeepers pictured here are part of a revolving peacekeeping force that have been stationed in Haiti since 2006 following the breakdown of the then Aristide government and military rule.
‘RIDING WITH UN PEACEKEEPERS’ – CITE SOLEIL, PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 10, 2015. A young boy runs after and shouts at UN Peacekeepers while on patrol in a troubled neighborhood of downtown Port-Au-Prince. Following the 2010 earthquake, a United Nations peacekeeping base upstream from the capital was later found out to be the source of what became the worst cholera outbreak in the beleaguered nation’s history. The Brazilian UN Peacekeepers pictured here are part of a revolving peacekeeping force that have been stationed in Haiti since 2006 following the breakdown of the then Aristide government and military rule.

About Giles Clarke

Giles Clarke is a photojournalist with Getty Images Reportage based in New York City. His work has been featured recently by The Washington Post, American Photography 31 and 32, Amnesty International, CNN, Yahoo News, The Guardian, Global Witness, The New Yorker, National Press Photographers Association, Paris Match, PDN, POYi et al.

Giles won an Award of Excellence from POYi in 2016 for his piece “The Bhopal Medical Appeal: Toxic Trespass”, which also won 2nd place in the Contemporary Issues Story category for NPPA.He won 1st place in the Environmental Picture Story category for his work with Haitian recyclers in the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) in 2016, 2nd place in the 2016 PDN Storytellers Award in the Environment category, and 1st place in the Professional: Editorial, Photo Essay and Feature Story category. Currently on the road in 2017 with UN OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) covering the East African famine. [Official Website]

'CHOLERA AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW' - LES CAYES, HAITI. OCTOBER 15, 2016. A tired relative of a cholera victim holds up an intravenous plastic bottle in Cholera Treatment Center in downtown Les Cayes - a town largely cut-off from road supply routes following Hurricane Matthew. There were no IV stands available in the ramshackle clinic from which to hang the dwindling stock of much-needed hydration bottles.
‘CHOLERA AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW’ – LES CAYES, HAITI. OCTOBER 15, 2016. A tired relative of a cholera victim holds up an intravenous plastic bottle in Cholera Treatment Center in downtown Les Cayes – a town largely cut-off from road supply routes following Hurricane Matthew. There were no IV stands available in the ramshackle clinic from which to hang the dwindling stock of much-needed hydration bottles.

'CITY MORGUE OVERFLOW' - PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. MAY 7, 2015. A man, a woman and her baby lie dead next to a wall outside the city morgue. They were lying behind a wooden board that when pulled back revealed the bodies. I was told by morgue workers close-by that continual power cuts (corpse refrigeration) and lack of city funds for proper disposal meant that bodies would be stored crudely until family members came to claim the bodies. In many case however, bodies were left unclaimed so were buried in mass graves later. Haitian culture prevents cremation.
‘CITY MORGUE OVERFLOW’ – PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. MAY 7, 2015. A man, a woman and her baby lie dead next to a wall outside the city morgue. They were lying behind a wooden board that when pulled back revealed the bodies. I was told by morgue workers close-by that continual power cuts (corpse refrigeration) and lack of city funds for proper disposal meant that bodies would be stored crudely until family members came to claim the bodies. In many case however, bodies were left unclaimed so were buried in mass graves later. Haitian culture prevents cremation.

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'MORGUE ARRIVAL' - PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. MAY 7, 2015. A morgue worker opens the back of a van after having picked up a body from an undisclosed location. The dead man's arms were tucked inside his shorts while he was moved from his place of death to the mortuary.
‘MORGUE ARRIVAL’ – PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. MAY 7, 2015. A morgue worker opens the back of a van after having picked up a body from an undisclosed location. The dead man’s arms were tucked inside his shorts while he was moved from his place of death to the mortuary.

'NURSING HURRICANE MATTHEW’S WOUNDED' - LES CAYES, HAITI. OCTOBER 15, 2016. The interior of a busy medical center in downtown Les Cayes where nurses tend to some of those injured by Hurricane Matthew. Family members and relatives wait by the door. The town of Les Cayes was the first place to be hit by the Category 4 storm that barreled through the area on October 2016.
‘NURSING HURRICANE MATTHEW’S WOUNDED’ – LES CAYES, HAITI. OCTOBER 15, 2016. The interior of a busy medical center in downtown Les Cayes where nurses tend to some of those injured by Hurricane Matthew. Family members and relatives wait by the door. The town of Les Cayes was the first place to be hit by the Category 4 storm that barreled through the area on October 2016.

HAITI 5 YEARS ON

'CHOLERA RECOVERY' - CARREFORE, HAITI. JANUARY 14, 2015. At Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) in one of Port-Au-Prince's coastal outskirts, an elderly man gulps water for rehydration. According to the World Health Organization, children and the elderly are proven to be the most susceptible to cholera.
‘CHOLERA RECOVERY’ – CARREFORE, HAITI. JANUARY 14, 2015. At Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) in one of Port-Au-Prince’s coastal outskirts, an elderly man gulps water for rehydration. According to the World Health Organization, children and the elderly are proven to be the most susceptible to cholera.

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'HOLY COMMUNION' - PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 11, 2015. Churchgoers attend a 5th earthquake anniversary service in the newly-built annex that lies directly next door to the crumbled ruins of the The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.
‘HOLY COMMUNION’ – PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 11, 2015. Churchgoers attend a 5th earthquake anniversary service in the newly-built annex that lies directly next door to the crumbled ruins of the The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.

'REMEMBERING THE DEAD' - PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 12, 2015. At a memorial service inside the Grand Cemetery Church on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake.
‘REMEMBERING THE DEAD’ – PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. JANUARY 12, 2015. At a memorial service inside the Grand Cemetery Church on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake.

'IN THE GRIPS OF CHOLERA' - LES CAYES, HAITI. OCTOBER 15, 2016. At a makeshift medical treatment center in downtown Les Cayes, a concerned son holds his weak mother's wrist while talking on his mobile phone to relatives. According to World Health Organization figures (released at the end of October 2016), an estimated 1,300 people had contracted cholera after Hurricane Matthew ripped through the area on October 5th, 2016.
‘IN THE GRIPS OF CHOLERA’ – LES CAYES, HAITI. OCTOBER 15, 2016. At a makeshift medical treatment center in downtown Les Cayes, a concerned son holds his weak mother’s wrist while talking on his mobile phone to relatives. According to World Health Organization figures (released at the end of October 2016), an estimated 1,300 people had contracted cholera after Hurricane Matthew ripped through the area on October 5th, 2016.

'UNMARKED SHALLOW GRAVES' - PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. MAY 7, 2015. In the hills of Titanyen, some 10 km outside of Port-Au-Prince, lie the crudely wrapped bodies that were illegally deposited in mass graves by health officials using private contracted disposal companies. When the local residents tried to stop the late night dumping of these bodies, they were dispersed by the Haitian national police with tear gas just a few days before this image was taken. In a twist of grim irony, many of these residents who had moved from the earthquake rubble to these peaceful hills five years earlier, were now being confronted with the morbid hell from which they escaped.
‘UNMARKED SHALLOW GRAVES’ – PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. MAY 7, 2015. In the hills of Titanyen, some 10 km outside of Port-Au-Prince, lie the crudely wrapped bodies that were illegally deposited in mass graves by health officials using private contracted disposal companies. When the local residents tried to stop the late night dumping of these bodies, they were dispersed by the Haitian national police with tear gas just a few days before this image was taken. In a twist of grim irony, many of these residents who had moved from the earthquake rubble to these peaceful hills five years earlier, were now being confronted with the morbid hell from which they escaped.

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