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    HAITI FIVE YEARS ON: AN FÒM!

    Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:30

    Written by Lise Hosein

    This week marks five years since the earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale caused destruction in Haiti, to its people, its architecture, and its resources. It’s a tragic story, but photographer Johan Hallberg-Campbell, in partnership with the Red Cross, tells a story of Haiti that updates what we saw there in 2010.



    The title of this exhibition of Hallberg-Campbell’s photographs is Haiti Five Years On: AN FOM!, which roughly translates to “doing alright” in English. And looking at the images, that seems like a pretty accurate representation of what’s going on in Haiti. Hallberg-Campbell, along with the Red Cross (who sent him to Haiti) isn’t suggesting the country has fully recovered – there’s no luxury in these photos - but that they’ve reached a place where life is sustainable and allows for a better future. The images cover topics vital to the country’s recovery, like healthcare and shelter. The Red Cross’s Chiran Livera told me about these issues:



    Ultimately, this exhibition not only tells the story of the long road to recovery, but you get the sense of the sheer effort that was put in to get this far. You won’t see images of Red Cross workers giving out water or having an overt presence in the images – this is a show about the resilience of both Haitian culture AND the recovery effort. Hallberg-Campbell told me about the photograph of children at a school that was the most meaningful for him to capture:



    This exhibit doesn’t suggest that Haiti is out of the woods. It’s a disaster-prone country that’s faced a number of weather- and health-related challenges in the years since the quake. That means that when the Red Cross thinks about rebuilding, they can’t think about replacing what was there – they have to think about making structures stronger than they ever were. And that takes help, and a public that doesn’t forget what Haiti went through five years ago. You can find out more about how you can still offer assistance at www.redcross.ca, and see the photographs at City Hall, Toronto Police Headquarters, and Bloom Restaurant on Bloor St. W. through the 16th.

    An d you can view the full collection of Hallberg-Campbell’s photographs of Haiti HERE.

    Send your stories and ideas to me at lise@jazz.fm. I want to hear about your communities – the arts, people, places, and events that make it special.



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