Tent Life: Haiti

Wyatt Gallery, Photographer, Edwidge Danticat, Essay by
Wyatt Gallery, preface by Edwidge Danticat, Umbrage Editions (www.umbragebooks.com), $39.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-884167-47-8
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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In more than 70 striking color photographs, photojournalist Gallery offers an unvarnished look at the temporary tent cities of postearthquake Port-au-Prince, rendering a stark yet hopeful portrait of life after devastating disaster. More than a year after 200,000 died and millions were left homeless, Gallery’s pictures and descriptive journal entries capture the resilient spirit of people living in a “spontaneous and lasting community,” as described by novelist Danticat. Published to raise funds for the ongoing crisis, the images single out space, public and private: the vast patchwork vista of flat-topped tarpaulins, the destroyed buildings, the brightly colored trash heaps, the makeshift beauty parlor, the shady tents, the carefully packed suitcases, the immaculately made beds—and show how Haitians are finding comfort, creating normalcy, and continuing to endure, exemplifying the words of the traditional folk song reprinted in the book: “I am a leaf/ Look at me on my branch/ A terrible storm/ came and knocked me off/ The day you see me fall/ Is not the day I die.” (Apr.)
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