Hunger and Rage

Haiti – Summer 2008

Although the Caribbean islands are widely considered as a holiday paradise, Haiti – a state lying on the Hispaniola island, in the Greater Antilles – evokes a hell and a disaster rather than anything else. Hundreds years of slavery and colonialism, the Duvalier family dictatorship in the last century, accompanied by mass violence, left Haiti hopeless and as the poorest nation of the Americas.

The overall situation in Haiti gets worse every year and the extreme, hardly imaginable poverty hits more and more people. The Haitian economics is paralysed, there is no infrastructure, no food supplies, the population suffers from hunger, social and living conditions in Haitian slums (e.g. Cité Soleil) are a human tragedy. People live together with pigs surrounded by rotten stinking garbage with no electricity, no drinking water, no meals, suffering and dying of diseases which may be easily curable if there was a public health system. There seems to be no way out of this misery.

The whole situation got even worse last year in summer when Haiti was hit by four successive hurricanes and several tropical storms. The massive deforestation of Haiti has allowed large floodings.

Haitian administration and the judicial system are (and always have been) higly corrupted, misappropriation of public funds is common. MINUSTAH (Blue Helmets installed in Haiti by the UN in 2004) substitute the police therefore they are generally not welcomed by the Haitian population. Wild and violent riots repeatedly affect all the country.

The rage grows and the tension continues with undiminished strength.

Photography by Jan Sochor
Music by Manno Charlemagne – “Banm Youn Ti Limye”, Les Inedits de Manno Charlemagne (2006)

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Copyright © 2015 Jan Sochor. No photographs and text may be used or reproduced in any form.