Haiti – Scraping the surface

Lomus Ciliona

Lomus Ciliona

Asseus Marie Nicole "One of my sons was infected and I ran to the hospital. He has since recovered after almost dying.  While I was in hospital her stepfather was rushed in but he didn't make it. Many people I knew who were affected ran to a voodoo priest and died. I have never seen anything like this, people dying in such an awful way."

Asseus Marie Nicole
“One of my sons was infected and I ran to the hospital. He has since recovered after almost dying.
While I was in hospital her stepfather was rushed in but he didn’t make it.
Many people I knew who were affected ran to a voodoo priest and died.
I have never seen anything like this, people dying in such an awful way.”

Emmanula Fils Aime "We have been walking back and forth and nothing ever happens. They are just playing with us. We keep walking."

Emmanula Fils Aime
“We have been walking back and forth and nothing ever happens. They are just playing with us. We keep walking.”

Mirlande Nassirial "My mother, father, sister and niece were affected. No-one new what it was, simply that people were getting sick and we had to go to hospital"

Mirlande Nassirial
“My mother, father, sister and niece were affected. No-one new what it was,
simply that people were getting sick and we had to go to hospital”

Lismame Orelisse "My aunty and another relative died. My father was ill but god willing he survived. I was big and strong when I got cholera. I will never be the healthy man I was.  I am happy I am here and didn't die. I hope one day there will be justice for this injustice."

Lismame Orelisse
“My aunty and another relative died. My father was ill but god willing he survived.
I was big and strong when I got cholera. I will never be the healthy man I was.
I am happy I am here and didn’t die. I hope one day there will be justice for this injustice.”

Willner Amman "Everyone I know who was affected are not the same. They have lost their strength.  I have faith in god and hope one day we will find a result"

Willner Amman
“Everyone I know who was affected are not the same. They have lost their strength.
I have faith in god and hope one day we will find a result”

Augustin Nerline "I was affected with my step-father. The husband of my auntie died. I believe justice will be done. I think the UN soldiers may have caused this. They should re-compensate us."

Augustin Nerline
“I was affected with my step-father. The husband of my auntie died.
I believe justice will be done. I think the UN soldiers may have caused this. They should re-compensate us.”

Mackatus Cherry At first I was affected then my son then my mother.  My son began rolling on the ground then began vomiting and defecating on himself. Afterwards your strength never fully returns While I am seeking justice I am loosing money

Mackatus Cherry
At first I was affected then my son then my mother.
My son began rolling on the ground then began vomiting and defecating on himself.
Afterwards your strength never fully returns
While I am seeking justice I am loosing money

Nephthalie Ilceus "My 6 year old daughter was affected. I have hope. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't. I do not tell the people in neighbourhood because they make fun of me."

Nephthalie Ilceus
“My 6 year old daughter was affected.
I have hope. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t. I do not tell the people in neighbourhood because they make fun of me.”

Françoise Dieu Fils “When I got cholera I nearly died.  I always come to these meetings. Many people mock us for coming here. They say we will not receive anything.  I have the faith in god”

Françoise Dieu Fils
“When I got cholera I nearly died.
I always come to these meetings.
Many people mock us for coming here. They say we will not receive anything.
I have the faith in god”

Galand Samuel "I saw my son and he looked dead lying in the hospital with his two brothers. They call me papa cholera in my neighbourhood because myself and my sons were the first to get it. If people new about this meeting there would be more here"

Galand Samuel
“I saw my son and he looked dead lying in the hospital with his two brothers.
They call me papa cholera in my neighbourhood because myself and my sons were the first to get it.
If people new about this meeting there would be more here”

Rosena Paul "There is still a fear of the illness within the community. Many people are mocking us saying that the MINUSTAH is making us dance without a drum”

Rosena Paul
“There is still a fear of the illness within the community.
Many people are mocking us saying that the MINUSTAH is making us dance without a drum”

Joseph Dicken

Joseph Dicken

Resiliai Jill "The numbers have gone down but people still seem to be dying. I understand that the MINUSTAH were dumping their waste in the water and this caused it."

Resiliai Jill
“The numbers have gone down but people still seem to be dying. I understand that the MINUSTAH were dumping their waste in the water and this caused it.”

Jacqueline Olanville "When I was affected nobody came to visit. At that time no-one came to visit those who were sick. I have to go through the bushes to get here (to the meetings). I want to see the end. What the outcome of this will be.”

Jacqueline Olanville
“When I was affected nobody came to visit. At that time no-one came to visit those who were sick.
I have to go through the bushes to get here (to the meetings). I want to see the end. What the outcome of this will be.”

Woman washing clothes in L'Estere

Woman washing clothes in L’Estere

Boy in a small camp near Delmas in Port au Prince. The people in the camp were being threatened and forced to move. Men had come the night before and burnt down some of the tents.

Boy in a small camp near Delmas in Port au Prince. The people in the camp were being threatened and forced to move. Men had come the night before and burnt down some of the tents.

People crossing the river in La Chapelle

People crossing the river in La Chapelle

Woman washing clothes in L'Estere

Woman washing clothes in L’Estere

An Evangelical Church in the mountains near Jacmel. It had perished in the Earthquake but they were slowly rebuilding it.

An Evangelical Church in the mountains near Jacmel. It had perished in the Earthquake but they were slowly rebuilding it.

Catholic church service in Jacmel

Catholic church service in Jacmel

Another camp off Delmas in Port au Prince after forced eviction from the council. The area was being cleared of the all residence, some being moved to the outskirts of Port au Prince.

Another camp off Delmas in Port au Prince after forced eviction from the council. The area was being cleared of the all residence, some being moved to the outskirts of Port au Prince.

Saut-d'Eau

Saut-d’Eau

Mass grave site just outside Port au Prince. After the Earthquake, because of the huge numbers of bodies, many were buried at mass graves like this. I had heard that cholera victims were were unclaimed also were buried here.

Mass grave site just outside Port au Prince. After the Earthquake, because of the huge numbers of bodies, many were buried at mass graves like this. I had heard that cholera victims were were unclaimed also were buried here.

Saut-d'Eau

Saut-d’Eau

Saut-d'Eau

Saut-d’Eau

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Saut-d'Eau

Saut-d’Eau

La Chapelle market on the river

La Chapelle market on the river

A camp being constructed on land that had been finally agreed by the government for a number of people to build shelters. This did not stop them being harassed with violent threats from gangs working for landowners.  The area was dangerous and had nothing to offer in terms of amenities and was a fair distance from the city.

A camp being constructed on land that had been finally agreed by the government for a number of people to build shelters. This did not stop them being harassed with violent threats from gangs working for landowners.
The area was dangerous and had nothing to offer in terms of amenities and was a fair distance from the city.

A small beach in south-east Jacmel on Flag Day

A small beach in south-east Jacmel on Flag Day

In preparation to collect and bury unidentified bodies from the Porte-au-Prince city morgue

In preparation to collect and bury unidentified bodies from the Porte-au-Prince city morgue

In preparation to collect and bury unidentified bodies from the Porte-au-Prince city morgue.  Volunteers join in to play music and bring out the bodies. Singing and dancing to give the anonymous dead respect in celebration. They pass cigarettes and rum around to deal with the smell and presence of death.

In preparation to collect and bury unidentified bodies from the Porte-au-Prince city morgue.
Volunteers join in to play music and bring out the bodies. Singing and dancing to give the anonymous dead respect in celebration. They pass cigarettes and rum around to deal with the smell and presence of death.

In preparation to collect and bury unidentified bodies from the Porte-au-Prince city morgue

In preparation to collect and bury unidentified bodies from the Porte-au-Prince city morgue

Rasta in L'Estere

Rasta in L’Estere

A passport photo on the floor of one of the evicted shelters

A passport photo on the floor of one of the evicted shelters

One of the council "heavies" with a gun that looked a little more for show. There were a number of heavily armed police there too but they were pretty difficult to photograph.

One of the council “heavies” with a gun that looked a little more for show. There were a number of heavily armed police there too but they were pretty difficult to photograph.

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Boy in L'Estere

Boy in L’Estere

A group of children in L'Estere

A group of children in L’Estere

These photos were taken on my visit to Haiti in May 2012. I wanted to find out more information about the cholera outbreak which happened soon after the 2010 earthquake. I had come to understand that the outbreak which killed 9000 people and affected around 700000 people was initially spread from a UN camp of Nepalese soldiers (MINUSTAH). Cholera was known to be endemic in Nepal and the screenings of the soldiers for diseases before entering Haiti were poor. Their base was located on the Artibonite river which provides water for the majority of Haiti and the sewage from the camp was emptied straight into it.

I have written about the situation as I came to understand it here, The Price for Sanitation in Haiti

The photographs are all printed by hand using a portable enlarger I had set up at home. I had taken the rolls of film to a place to get them developed to save time but there was a big misunderstanding which led to them under-developing all of the rolls.

I was absolutely gutted but there was nothing I could do apart from push them as much as I could in the darkroom. The effect of this has worked in an unexpected was as the faded images look much older than they and much more disconnected from a contemporary setting.
The following portraits were taken in a school building in Bocozelle, Sainte Marc. The group consists of people affected by the cholera epidemic and have been having meetings every Sunday since March 2012, combining their efforts in the fight for compensation from the UN.