TIME Haiti

Haiti Declares National Mourning After 16 Revelers Die in a Stampede

Haiti's President Michel Martelly, center left, and first lady Sophia Martelly, right center, stand at a memorial in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 17, 2015
Dieu Nalio Chery—AP Haiti's President Michel Martelly, center left, and first lady Sophia Martelly, right center, stand at a memorial in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 17, 2015

The final day of the annual celebrations has been canceled

Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul has announced three days of national mourning after a Carnival stampede Tuesday left at least 16 dead and 78 injured in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The final day of the annual celebrations has also been canceled.

Tuesday’s tragedy occurred when Haitian singer Fantom, standing on top of a float, was struck by a power line, setting off a deadly electric current. Many spectators were trampled underfoot and died in the ensuing panic, according to Reuters.

Paul said Carnival organizers would now arrange a parade to honor the deceased.

“We are telling the people of Haiti that we must be in solidarity,” Paul said. “We are all Haiti.”

[Reuters]

TIME

The Best Pictures of the Week: Jan. 9 – Jan. 16

From the 1.5 million strong unity march in Paris to fierce winter storms in Syria and the historic free-climb of Yosemite’s El Capitan to the Ohio State Buckeyes winning college football’s national championship, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Jan. 13, 2015

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Marco Gualazzini‘s work from Haiti. Published by CNN, they document the country’s state five years after it was hit by devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 160,000 people, and left 1.5 million homeless. The excellent photographs capture Haiti’s enduring scars and hopes, but also signs of recovery.

Marco Gualazzini: Five years after the quake: Haiti at a crossroads (CNN)

Gael Turine: Haiti Earthquake: Five Years After (TIME LightBox) The pictures made during the last two years provide another view at the struggling country. For more on Haiti by other photographers, including Alex Webb, Maggie Steber, Paolo Woods and Bruce Gilden, see the LightBox post: Haiti: Photographers’ Love Affairs With a Country on the Brink.

Lee Grant: Life in North Korea (The New Yorker Photo Booth) Unusually upbeat look at the hermit kingdom.

Capturing the faces and feelings of Paris (CNN) Photographer Peter Turnley shares his photographs and thoughts from this past Sunday’s show of solidarity on the streets of the French capital.

‘A Long Hungry Look’: Forgotten Gordon Parks Photos Document Segregation (The New York Times) Rare Parks photos to be exhibited at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts starting Jan. 17.

TIME Behind the Photos

Haiti: Photographers’ Love Affairs With a Country on the Brink

Haiti is country full of paradoxes – one that has inspired many photographers over the last 50 years

For decades, as Haiti has weathered political upheavals, coups d’état, economic crises and natural catastrophes—including the devastating earthquake that killed more than 160,000 people in 2010—photographers have nurtured an enduring, and at times tense, relationship with the small Caribbean country.

Haiti’s vibrant society, pulsating energy and stunning light, combined with its tragic and violent history, consistently attract photographers of all ages and nationalities. Many of them are inspired by Alex Webb’s seminal work Under a Grudging Sun, which continues, to this day, to influence their aesthetics.

Webb’s first trip to Haiti, back in 1975, transformed him—both as a photographer and as a human being. “I photographed a kind of world I had never experienced before, a world of emotional vibrancy and intensity: raw, disjointed, sometimes beautiful, often tragic,” he tells TIME. “I encountered a world that kept drawing me back, again and again.”

“I have this idea that Haiti chooses you,” echoes photographer Maggie Steber, who first visited the country 35 years ago. “If she doesn’t want you there, she will do everything in her power to make you run screaming for the next plane out of there. But if she likes you, if she recognizes in you a kindred spirit, she doesn’t let you go and she wrings your heart out every day. She uses you up.” Steber’s first experience with Haiti came when she moved to New York after living in Africa; she was missing living abroad and Sipa’s director Gökşin Sipahioğlu suggested that Haiti might satisfy that craving. She arrived just when President Jean-Claude Duvalier fell in a coup d’état.

“Then, everything exploded. It was thrilling. It was exciting. There was so much happening,” she recalls. “For the first time, people could really speak their mind. It was a country finally letting go after taking this deep breath. To me, that’s when the story really started to unfold. That’s when I was spellbound by it.”

When Bruce Gilden first landed in Haiti in 1984, he rented a car with his first wife and, as he was driving to the hotel, he turned to her and said: “Where have I been my whole life?” Since then, Gilden has made 22 visits to the country. “Every time I’d go, I’d find something else to photograph,” he says. The stunning light hooked him first, but the reason he returned so often was all about the people. “They love me and I love them,” he says. “They are my people.”

Together, these photographers and many of their contemporaries have shot, published and exhibited thousands of images of Haiti—many of them with the stated goal of contributing to the dialogue about this “complicated country that has had such a difficult and tragic history,” says Webb. And yet, five years after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed large parts of Haiti and brought unprecedented attention to the country with billions of dollars of aid pledged and hundreds of NGOs setting up operations there, the situation remains grim, calling into question the photographers’ roles.

See how Haitian photographer Daniel Morel, one of the first photographers on the scene, covered the 2010 earthquake.

The deep connection many photographers feel when they first visit Haiti battles against the frustration many of them feel for a country that doesn’t seem to be able to escape its cruel fate.

“I do feel a frustration because every time Haitians try to take a step forward, something happens that sends them back two steps,” Steber tells TIME. “I think it’s frustrating for a lot of photographers.” For the Miami-based photographer, Haiti’s troubled situation can be traced back to the country’s slave revolt in the early 1800s. “Haiti had the only successful slave uprising at a time when the whole world’s economy was rotating around slaves, so the world turned its back on Haiti,” she says. “In a way, Haiti seems to have been punished by fate.”

In the last five years, the number of photographers visiting the small Caribbean country has surged, coinciding with the flock of NGOs pledging to help Haitians recover from the earthquake. While the organizations “are absolutely vital in moments of crisis or natural disaster,” says Institute photographer Paolo Woods, the situation in 2015 tends to show that in the long-term, NGOs’ impact on the country remains ambiguous. “I’m often asked what’s the difference between before and after the earthquake,” Gilden adds. “There’s no difference. Haiti is poor and nobody cares.”

That’s a problem that hits home with photographers too. Though their goal is not the same as NGOs’, the nation’s poverty is ostensibly on display in their work, and they wrestle with how to show that world without harming the people in it. Photography that is not carefully considered can contribute, at times, to the reinforcement of stereotypes frequently applied to developing countries across the globe, from Africa to Latin America to Asia.

“As photographers, we tend to go to places with our eyes and brains already full of images, and very often, unfortunately, we try to confirm those images,” says Paolo Woods, who moved to Haiti five years ago to work on his book State. The photographer doesn’t deny that Haiti is crippled by its unstable political situation and deep-rooted poverty, but, he says, that’s only one side of the story. “When you look at images from Haiti, you get this impression of a country that’s very far away from what it actually is,” he says. “For me, it was just a matter of looking around [to find other stories to tell.]”

Woods only had to look around his hotel, where he stayed during his first month in Haiti, to find his story—one that centers on Haiti’s rich, upper-class population. “It was in December 2010, and we were getting close to the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, so a lot of journalists had come back to Haiti to do a story,” he says. “At that time, I was still living in a hotel in Port-au-Prince where a lot of media people gathered. What astonished me was that in this nice hotel, with working wifi and a swimming pool, you’d have all these photographers getting on motorbikes in the morning to go to Cité Soleil [one of the country’s poorest slums], take hundreds of images, and then come back to the hotel without ever looking at anything else.”

In the same hotel, in its lobby, restaurant and swimming pool, rich Haitians would come to wine and dine. “I thought this was interesting,” says Woods. “Who are these people? How did they make their money? How do they spend it? That became one of the multiple stories that built my book State.”

In his photographs, Gilden has tried to steer clear of the conflicts and the political mess, focusing, instead, on the everyday life of Haitians, whom, he says, he cares deeply about. Yet, his goal was never to change their lives. “I know [photographers] can’t change the world. If [we could], things would not be the same as they were 10 years ago, 20 years ago or 50 years ago.”

Some photographers—Steber and Woods included—have started looking for ways to give back to Haitians, often through photographic workshops. “I teach photography with the goal of encouraging education and to empower Haitians,” says Steber. “We leave the cameras behind and we come back to teach them again and again. It’s about training them to re-seize their country, to appreciate it and to see the possibilities for themselves.”

For Woods, it’s also a way to allow Haiti to be defined, photographically, by its own people. “I often get calls from NGOs, and I always try to refer them to Haitian photographers,” he says. “It makes a lot more sense. I think a country is healthy when its own citizens can tell its story.”

Certainly, Haiti, which is just a two-hour, $200 flight away from Florida, will continue to charm, attract and inspire photographers to produce “significant and deeply committed work, ranging from classical photojournalism to highly interpretive photography,” says Webb. And not just because “the country is poor, or has horrific political violence,” he adds. “There is something about the intense sense of life intertwined with the perpetual presence of death that courses through the society; something about the vibrancy of the people alongside the tragedy of their circumstances; something about a kind of beauty that co-exists with pain and sorrow. Trying to somehow come to terms with such paradoxes may well be a clue as to why the country has inspired—and continues to inspire—photographers as well as writers.”

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

Alice Gabriner, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s International Photo Editor.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 12

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. On the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, political strife is still the greatest obstacle to recovery.

By Jacqueline Charles in the Miami Herald

2. The U.S. uses economic sanctions because they don’t require a global coalition to work. But they may inflict damage beyond the intended target.

By Paul Richter in the Los Angeles Times

3. With deepening partisanship becoming the norm, don’t look to the states for new ideas.

By Aaron Chatterji in the New York Times

4. Juries could use virtual reality headsets to ‘visit’ crime scenes.

By Jessica Hamzelou in New Scientist

5. A new waterproof solar lantern is helping reduce deaths from burning fuel indoors for the world’s 1.2 billion living without electric light.

By Michael Zelenko in the Verge

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME foreign affairs

What Haiti Needs to Do Next

Photo Credit- Alex Fischer, Earth Institute A girl walks along a path on her way to school in the upper watershed of Les Anglais. Until recently, there had been no maps showing where the schools are located, how many students attended, or any other critical information for improving schools facilities.

Alex Fischer and Marc A. Levy have been supporting initiatives in Haiti since 2008 and were in Port-au-Prince during the 2010 Earthquake.

The goal for this still fragile country to become an emerging economy by 2030

Within three months of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the initial shock and sadness of the tragedy had been replaced by an enormous ambition: Haiti would build back better. Sadly, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake, the political crisis embroiling the country threatens what progress has been made.

Yet there have been remarkable innovations and some progress. These need to be kept alive so that once the current political crisis passes, development can resume. Among the most encouraging innovations to follow the Haiti disaster has been the ability to map, assess, and monitor investment and progress in an open data framework. This must continue.

In 2010 shortly after the Earthquake, we argued that the earthquake recovery aid was failing to adequately support Haiti’s ambitions. We warned that long-term, national-scale planning, financing, and monitoring was required to overcome the instability undermining Haiti’s growth—and that there was a conspicuous absence of critical data.

By 2012, these concerns started being addressed with improvements in the coordination between civil society, donors, government, and diaspora. The Government approved and released the national-scale development plan (Plan Stratégique de Développement d’Haïti, PSDH), with the explicit goal of becoming an emerging economy by 2030.

The PSDH is an emerging model of development planning for a fragile country. It serves as a basis for aid coordination and regional and local community development. Organized around local, regional, and national growth poles across Haiti, the PSDH programs support four development pillars: social services, territorial (and land-use) management, economic development, and institutional reform. The plan identifies 32 programs containing more than 3,000 projects. It has guided the government’s investment budgets for the past two years.

As initially conceived, the plan has several flaws, and one in particular stands out: the absence of baseline data required to systematically design, implement, and monitor development programs. Within the plan document, it self-identifies 77 facility and infrastructure types requiring data collection at a national level, specifically requesting geo-spatial coordinates and quantity and quality attributes required for planning and managing the nation’s assets in infrastructure and public facilities.

The Prime Minister’s E-Governance Unit, with our support, responded to the PSDH calls by designing the necessary tools to undertake a National Infrastructure and Facility Inventory (NIFI). The initial 20 different types of infrastructure and facilities to be inventoried ranged from public waste management and schools to tourism facilities and irrigation systems.

The NIFI platform offers the Haitian government the opportunity to reap the benefits of the data revolution by integrating the acquired data into its investment planning, decision-making, and management systems. For example, NIFI can provide a complete geo-registry of the nation’s public and private primary and secondary school system, paired with existing records on school facilities quality and enrollment. This would greatly advance the optimization of the location of planned new school construction, as well as management of supplies and teacher allocation.

It is clear that the government and its partners can produce a data-driven, cost-optimized development plan. The government had launched an initial platform that tracks all public investment. In August 2013, the Government published an interactive map of all the identified national government offices, helping citizens and development partners locate and coordinate with their regional and local public service office.

It’s analogous to ordering a pizza from Domino’s, where you can track its preparation on line, with specific alerts at a number of stages. Haiti is taking the very logical step in applying this same transparency to government projects, so that citizens can track them from the design phase through to implementation. As a result, the development process not not only builds new schools, clinics and houses, but even more crucially builds trust.

Despite the current turmoil in the shadow of the anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed large parts of Haiti’s core infrastructure and facilities, NIFI remains an opportunity to further modernize and optimize the interactions and investments of the Haitian public and private sectors. For the Haitian diaspora, NIFI could be used to more efficiently target their charitable support to hometown associations and their development investments.

We strongly recommend maintaining the momentum towards the acquisition of national baseline data. The Government of Haiti can move its development agenda forward by providing these crucial underpinnings for the post-2015 global development agenda and as a platform for coordinated public/private sector investment.

This is one area where Haiti should be proud to be a global leader on the verge of capturing the benefits of the data revolution.

Alex Fischer is the Associate Director of the Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Earth Institute, Columbia University and author of multiple studies on watershed management and sustainable development in Haiti. He leads efforts to integrate rapidly evolving technologies into national-scale monitoring platforms and data-driven decision-making in fragile states. Marc A. Levy is a political scientist serving as Deputy Director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a unit of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He has published widely on sustainability challenges in fragile states and global environmental and development indicators. Both Levy and Fischer have been supporting initiatives in Haiti since 2008 and were in Port-au-Prince during the 2010 Earthquake.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME natural disaster

Five Years Later, See TIME’s Coverage of the Haiti Earthquake

Haiti cover
PHOTOGRAPHS BY IVANOH DEMERS/MONTREAL LA PRESSE/AP The Jan. 25, 2010, cover of TIME

The earthquake devastated a nation that was on the verge of achieving long-term economic and political stability

Five years ago on Monday, just as the Caribbean nation of Haiti was beginning to stand on solid footing, the ground beneath it shook. The tremor flattened buildings and killed more than 200,000 people, bringing to a halt the country’s slow but encouraging progress toward economic and political stability.

“Tragedy has a way of visiting those who can bear it least,” TIME’s Michael Elliott observed shortly after, reporting on the earthquake. By then, the devastation wrought by the tremor was coming into focus. The capital city of Port-au-Prince, just 15 miles from the epicenter, had been largely leveled; the National Palace and the city’s cathedral were destroyed; and aid workers were already pleading for international help with messages like this email from Louise Ivers, clinical director for Haiti for the NGO Partners in Health: “Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS … Please help us.”

Support did flow in, in the form of aid workers, foreign aid, and more than $1 billion in charity. But the earthquake set back years of development work in the impoverished country. As TIME reported:

What makes the earthquake especially ‘cruel and incomprehensible,’ as U.S. President Barack Obama put it, was that it struck at a rare moment of optimism. After decades of natural and political catastrophes, the U.N. peacekeeping force and an international investment campaign headed by former President Bill Clinton, the U.N.’s special envoy to Haiti, had recently begun to calm and rebuild the nation.

Starting from scratch, the post-earthquake rebuilding process has made headway. Rubble that covered the ground and blocked transit routes, one of the most tangible signs of the country’s slow recovery in the months after the earthquake, has now largely been cleared. Infrastructure, including a new airport, has been rebuilt. And the number of people living in makeshift tent homes has dropped from some 1.5 million to 70,000, Harry Adam, head of the Department for Construction of Housing and Public Buildings told AFP.

But Haiti, which still hosts the U.N. peacekeeping force known as MINUSTAH (the French acronym for the mission), has a long path ahead. On Friday, the United Nations issued a grim warning of the risks facing the country, the poorest in the western hemisphere. “Persistent chronic poverty and inequality, environmental degradation and continuing political uncertainty threaten achievements Haitians have made over the past five years,” Wendy Bigham, the World Food Programme’s representative in Haiti, said in a statement. Meanwhile, an ongoing political crisis over long-overdue elections has slowed critical recovery efforts and threatens to devolve further. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, largely credited with overseeing much of the nation’s reconstruction since he took office in 2012, resigned last month amid mass street protests, but his departure has failed to lead to political compromise.

In a statement Wednesday that highlighted the consequences of political instability, the U.N. called for a political compromise by the end of the week “in order to strengthen stability, preserve the democratic gains and ensure sustainable development in Haiti.” Five year’s after the earthquake, Haiti can still scarcely bear more turmoil.

Browse TIME’s special issue about the Haiti earthquake: Haiti’s Tragedy

TIME portfolio

Haiti Earthquake: Five Years After

Haiti continues to feel the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake

On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti, killing more than 160,000 and displacing close to 1.5 million people. Five year later, scars of the tragedy remain in Port-au-Prince, says photographer Gael Turine, who has spent the last 10 years photographing the country.

“When you walk around the country’s capital Port-au-Prince, you still see half-destroyed buildings around town,” he tells TIME. “The wounds are still here, and everyone says that they’re living in worse conditions than before.”

Given the costs of recovery from such a shattering catastrophe, it might seem logical that an impoverished country such as Haiti would still feel the effects a half-decade later, if it weren’t for the unprecedented help the Republic received in its aftermath. “When you look at the history of humanitarian relief, there’s never been a situation when such a small country has been the target of such a massive influx of money and assistance in such a short span of time,” says Turine. “On paper, with that much money in a territory the size of Haiti, we should have witnessed miracles; there should have been results.”

And yet the situation on the ground is dire, says the Belgian photographer: “Two years ago, there were still refugee camps in Port-au-Prince’s center. Now, they are gone, but the people have been merely displaced. They now live in the city’s suburbs – in these prefabricated shacks – [with] a parallel economy.”

For Turine, the international community has crushed the country’s hopes. “NGOs are pulling out, creditors have stopped investing,” he says. “Haitians find themselves in a social and economic situation that is worse than before the earthquake.” And yet, its people subsist. “I feel there’s this collective energy that comes from how close all Haitians live with each other. There’s this idea of collectivity, which leads to certain neighborhoods taking control of their own fate – cleaning up their streets, opening up their schools, etc. They have been forced to take over from the government, which is unable to offer these services.”

Still, he has no doubt that Haitians will weather the crisis, even as it stretches on. “It’s already a victory to see that the country hasn’t exploded, especially when you see what has happened in the last decades — from Jean-Claude Duvalier to Jean-Bertrand Aristide, from the cholera to hurricanes, the country has faced a succession of social, political and environmental crises,” Turine says. “The fact that Haitians haven’t succumbed to madness shows that they’re resilient.”

Gael Turine is a Belgium photographer represented by Agence VU’.

Alice Gabriner and Phil Bicker, who edited this photo essay, are respectively the International Photo Editor and a Senior Photo Editor at TIME.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME Haiti

5 Years After Quake, What Does Haiti Have to Show for $13 Billion in Aid?

HAITI-QUAKE-ANNIVERSARY-POLITICS
Hector Retamal—AFP/Getty Images Protesters burn tires during a march against the government of Haitian President Michel Martelly in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan. 11, 2015.

Americans texted tens of millions of dollars in donations and governments gave billions, but where did all that money go?

Americans texted tens of millions of dollars in donations and governments gave billions, but five years after an earthquake left corpses and rubble piled across Haiti, 85,000 people still live in crude displacement camps and many more in deplorable conditions.

The disconnect between the massive amount of private and public aid and the poverty, disease and homelessness that still plague the country raises a question that critics say is too difficult to answer: Where did all that money go?

In Coralia this week, father of two Serafin Jean Rose, 33, said he has benefited from the American dollars that have poured in since Jan. 11, 2010…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Jan. 7, 2015

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Adam Dean‘s work on opium poppy farming in the valleys of eastern Burma. The country, which used to be the world’s largest supplier of heroin until the 1980s, is experiencing a resurgence in cultivation. Conflict, corruption and poverty have driven an increasing number of farmers back to growing the plants’ opium sap, the key ingredient of the drug. The United Nations is trying to persuade them to switch their focus to other crops such as coffee, but it faces a difficult task: opium is far more profitable and an easier way for smalltime farmers to pad their incomes. Dean’s photographs offer a poignant glimpse to the boom that gives so many of Burma’s poor a hard fought livelihood, one that they know isn’t good for society but one that they aren’t eager to give up.

Adam Dean: Poppies Bloom Again in Myanmar (The New York Times)

Timothy Fadek: Rebuilding Haiti (Bloomberg Businessweek) These pictures take a different look at Haiti by showing how five years after the massive earthquake, businesses are working to rebuild the country

Muhammed Muheisen: Young Survivors of the Peshawar School Attack (TIME LightBox) Portraits and words of the students who survived

Glenna Gordon (BBC Radio 4 World at One) Gordon talks about photographing the clothes of missing Nigerian school girls.

Jane Bown obituary (The Guardian) The English photographer known for her portraits, died in December 2014 aged 89

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