First Person Blog

Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

Haiti’s strength, captured in photos

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Every day for the past two weeks, I’ve been reviewing the photos sent from our colleagues on the ground in Haiti. Together, they form a document of the devastating earthquake and the recovery effort—some showing the grim reality of the aftermath, others capturing the humanity of the situation with increasing hope and hints of everyday life. From these images, I’ve gotten a good sense of the reality on the ground, despite being thousands of miles away.

Here are a few of the most notable images so far:

Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America
Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America

Despite the magnitude of devastation and loss, images like this reveal a gentler and more intimate side of life on the ground. The beauty of the light, and the composition of a strong group of women surrounding a new mother and her baby, feels light and hopeful. The women are all making eye contact with the viewer through the lens, strengthening the direct connection.

Photo: Kenny Rae / Oxfam America
Photo: Kenny Rae / Oxfam America

 Early on we saw a lot of images of destruction. I must have parsed hundreds of images of collapsed buildings and homes. This one is particularly powerful because it’s a marketplace that you might see in any metropolitan area, yet it’s been reduced to a pile of rubble as high as the man passing by. How hard was the ground shaking to knock down a building like this? How long will it take to rebuild all of these structures? Where does one even start?

Photo: Oxfam
Photo: Oxfam

This picture from Delmas-48, a former golf course that is now home to thousands of displaced people, truly captures the scale of this disaster. The depth of this image is astounding… my eye travels along the fairway, which shows just how many are crowded along the avenue in makeshift homes. And what we see here is just a fraction of Haitians left homeless by the earthquake.

 

Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America
Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America

This photo of Yolette Etienne, Oxfam’s country director in Haiti, is truly delightful. After suffering personal loss and returning to work immediately to lead the recovery effort, Etienne takes a moment to speak with an expressive group of children. Their energy and apparent character are so sweet and genuine—plus the angle of the shot puts us viewers in a seat completing the circle.  

What photos have you seen that best captured the recovery effort? Add your thoughts below.

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  1. roberts.matt1996@yahoo.com'MRoberts

    These pictures really show the devastation caused by the recent earthquake. The way all of these organizations have responded to the relief efforts is really amazing. Great Work!

    Reply
  2. mike_jahraus@yahoo.com'Jill T

    The smile in these women’s faces, and the children, give me hope.
    I’m impressed by Yolette’s kindness and love. It shows. Thank you for all you do.
    JT

    Reply

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