Haiti has long been in and out of the news: violent Earthquakes and corrupt and violent elections, devastating hurricanes and now a deadly cholera epidemic. Most people only know about Haiti’s tragedies and very little of the country’s rich culture, history of slavery, colonialism, and religious beliefs. The debate about African religion versus Christianity, for instance, has been held hostage due to a profound misunderstanding by missionaries and many others with religious and economic agendas. In reality, Vodou and Christianity, together, is the glue that holds the Haitian people together. Vodou is now the national religion of Haiti and even the Catholic Church has come to terms with it. NOW, more than ever, it's important that people outside Haiti see Haitians as full blown human beings, not just people trapped in tragic circumstances.
Since 1987, I have traveled to Haiti more than 100 times and photographed dozens of Vodou pilgrimages and private ceremonies. On every trip, I discover new places where Vodou is still being practiced as it has been for hundreds of years. Many popular Vodou ceremonies in Haiti have been well documented and, while still fascinating, have become “tourist” attractions and party destinations, while other celebrations and ceremonies remain hidden from more public view.
In the coming year, I plan to make three more trips to Haiti to complete work on arguably, what I feel to be a very comprehensive book of images examining Haitian Vodou culture.
My rational for publishing this work is to provide a better understanding of Haiti’s culture above and beyond what the mainstream media tells us we should know.
Documenting any story in Haiti is now more expensive than ever following the earthquake of January 2010. NGO’s and the United Nations in Haiti have driven up the cost of housing, car rental, food and gas. To finish this project and book, I am asking for $10,000 dollars for travel, graphic design fees, editing and printing the book. Thank you in advance.
- (60 days)