Haiti is not one story. It is many stories -- overlapping, colliding, advancing relentlessly to violent and heartbreaking endings.
The rich and the desperately poor. The brutal and the brutalized. Uneasily and sometimes murderously, they share half an island that is a magnet for natural disasters.
Las year I spent four weeks in Haiti and came away with a kaleidoscopic collection of images -- fragments of slices of life in a tumultuous land. Alos everyday, people covered their faces in my presence, I quickly learned that most Haitians, but particularly the poor, didn’t want to be photographed — not by a white man and certainly not for free.
“No photo. No money. I want no pictures. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to talk to you.” These were the phrases I heard over and over.
The measures that had served me during two decades of photojournalism -- seeking permission, demonstrating respect and empathy — were not going to be enough in Haiti. I´ve encountered constant hostility, even violence. Before I could raise my camera I heard the words, “No photo!” It came from the people he was talking to and from those just passing by.
They also make a gesture along with “No photo!” — a finger drawn across the neck from left to right, like a fatal knife slice. I saw it many times, and understood it may be a death threat, but it’s also a statement of need, an indication that while I bent on capturing the moment, the person I saw in the viewfinder has more basic needs.
Despite all this, I tried through my work to show their sorrows, their needs, their anger and their cries for help to the world, that constantly ignores them.