Scenes and portraits in the streets and settlements of Port-au-Prince

A simple photo post today.

Taking pictures in the camps of Port-au-Prince is an exceptional experience.

There are almost 350 spontaneous settlements here, ranging in size from a couple of dozen to several thousand people.

We have been visiting these sites, ensuring they have sufficient infrastructure, water, medical support. We are now going to start a major effort to remove rubble, in order to clear the areas where the people come from, giving them a chance to get back to their home areas and rebuild. A gargantuan task, a truly gargantuan task.

The Haitian people are extraordinary. If you take the time to chat, be polite, listen to their stories, they are delighted to pose for pictures, and take great joy in looking at them, giggling. I have come to believe that in some ways, taking a photo, and sharing it, offers an opportunity for people to act with dignity, feel significant, even in the most undignified of surroundings.

Yesterday, we took Kris Allen – last year’s American Idol winner – on a tour of one of these sites, in Place de la Paix. It is a breathtaking scene, a massive labyrinth of temporary shelters, crammed together but well organised, supplied with water, latrines, and a population of deeply welcoming people, delighted to chat about our respective philosophies, the future of Haiti, the international system, footballers, and rock stars.

Out of nowhere a kid came up and started rapping with Kris Allen, playing guitar on a condom. Hilarity ensued. Amazing scene. I hope the US showbiz industry isn’t too nervous to show it.

You can see the whole Flickr set here, and another set here.

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6 responses to “Scenes and portraits in the streets and settlements of Port-au-Prince

  1. “A simple photo post today.”

    An amazing photo post. I, like many, have been following your blog feed regularly. Thank you for your work there in Haiti and for sharing these amazing photographs. Especially of the smiling children. Beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Kris Allen with the UN Foundation at Haiti « Randomize ME

  3. Pingback: United Nations Founation Video of Kris Allen in Haiti « Doe-Eye

  4. Pingback: Video of Kris in Haiti

  5. Your pictures are breathtaking and truly put in perspective what is going on in Haiti now for those of us not able to see the effects of the disaster up-close. The experience with the child rapping with Kris Allen sounds amazing. What would you recommend doing to help those in Haiti at this point? Is donating to reputable organizations, like the Red Cross, still the best way to go about helping?

  6. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures.

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