Photography

Sander-Martijn on Haiti

Sander-Martijn on Haiti

In 2009 I produced a video on Haiti both to work towards changing people's viewpoints on Haiit and its people, as well as to raise funds for my next trip. This was just prior to the earthquake there so this piece makes no mention of the devastation which closely followed my release of this. 

 

 

 

 

High school boy Wikersen and his friends work to reforest Haiti

  • Posted on: 28 August 2015
  • By: Sander

Planting trees

As a girl pinned a red flower to my shirt, Wikersen informed me “You’re going first”. “Oh no I’m not, I need to see how this is working first!” He disappeared, returning a few minutes later to tell me I would be third. Fine. All I knew was that I was expected to give a speech on waste management, to which I decided to focus on composting as something they could act on without relying on others, but I had no idea what the rest of the evening was. It had been described to me as an event, a party and a presentation but that was about as detailed as it had gotten. I suppose it was all of those things. The evening was all in Creole except for my speech which was translated by Wikersen, and was a series of speeches, poetry, theater and song about Haiti, the environment and politics. Impressive for anyone to set up an event like that, more so when remembering he has not yet graduated from High School. 

A year and a half after the earthquake in Haiti... Where's Waldo?

  • Posted on: 19 July 2011
  • By: Sander

 A year and a half after the earthquake in Haiti the tent cities are everywhere. The Cholera epidemic is worse than last year, and there is little construction to be seen. There are expensive white Range Rovers and Land Cruisers driving everywhere with the logos of every aid organization imaginable driving around at $5.00/gallon but what are they doing?

Haiti - Moving forward while looking back

  • Posted on: 4 March 2011
  • By: Sander

My mind has been on Haiti quite a bit lately.  I'm working on ideas for another trip there, figuring out a project I can do there with photography and some children, as well as creative ideas for funding that trip.  I'll keep the details to myself till they're a bit more solid, but I'll let it be the inspiration for today's piece.

What do I mean when I say moving forward while looking back?  Well moving forward is obvious - a lot of work needs to be done to put the pieces back together there and it's going to take a lot of effort from a lot of people.  First the earthquake, then cholera, brought in by people that were trying to help and now the political system in disarray (again).  We have to remember that the brunt of this responsibility lies with the Haitian people themselves, supported, encouraged and funded when necessary by people in a better place.  The idea that "we", the "developed" nations are going to "pull these poor people out of their misery" and "save" them belongs in another century and was founded out of a combination of missionary values and colonial guilt. But whoever does it, however it's done, it's clear that there's a lot of work ahead.  Not only do buildings need to be rebuilt, hope does as well.

Earthquake in Haiti

  • Posted on: 13 January 2010
  • By: Sander

I want to say something others haven't yet, but I'm not sure I can, being that I am not there. I have heard little from my connections there since the phones are down. All I can do at the moment is work to find a way to get down there and help, and hope that happens soon enough to really make a difference.

l'Escale

  • Posted on: 21 January 2009
  • By: Sander

Children slowly creep around me, staring. Mothers look at me while nursing. Teens stop cooking, bathing, whatever they were doing. Some continue, purposely ignoring me as I wander around with my large camera, far more conspicuous than I wish I were. I want to know these people, understand them - so that I may share a real understanding with others... This is one of those times when I realize the impossibility of my self-assigned task.

The ride

  • Posted on: 21 January 2009
  • By: Sander

It's pitch dark out. The only lights to be seen are the stars, which are more numerous than imaginable. And one small yellow beam of light a few feet in front of me. The wind is cool in my face. The sound a steady hum. I hang onto the motorcycle Joel is driving, wondering if I'm more excited or scared. Neither emotion wins, they're about equal. It's a beautiful and exciting way to travel and it feels like we are the only people in the world at that moment. But I'm also putting a lot of trust in my friend. He's driving very fast and we have no helmets or jackets on.