Hope for Haiti: The Pink Door Photographs Back Story
While not everyone survived this immense tragedy, those that have are trying to sort out their lives by asking questions on which way to turn, how to move forward, where to find work and what to do with themselves as they deal with the enormous pain of having lost loved ones underneath the debris. Still, more pressing questions remain. Where will I sleep tonight? Where can I find something to eat? Is my family safe tonight while they sleep and how do I take care of my babies when I have nothing left to give.
As the tragedy in Haiti left the news cycle to be replaced by the Grammys on one end to the next major catastrophe in Chile on the other and now Japan, it's difficult for humanitarian relief and development organisations to keep people interested, to avoid donor fatigue - simply that the needs over a year later are still there. I believe mature image-makers also need to step up and play their role, albeit in a responsible, ethical and moral way, to help the best of organisations raise awareness to life sustaining and life saving programs like those needed in Haiti, to assist a nation in getting back on it's feet. As an experienced image-maker and veteran of numerous campaigns throughout the developing world, I was invited to Jacmel on the southern coastline of Haiti by well-respected organisations, The Paradigm Project and Medair, both working in country to help improve the human condition, who challenged me to create images that supported the message of “HOPE.”
For the most part, images which were coming out of Haiti were fairly dire in nature. The news teams had left and the rare opportunity to conceptualise a series of iconic images which had optimism and dignity at their center, laid ahead. I wanted to create a series of photographs which hadn’t been attempted before, at least not in a relief setting, which would show the vitality and spirit which is the Haitian people, if only for a brief moment. To that end, I believe we were successful in creating a collection of portraits which captured the imagination and had the potential to inspire people to play their part. Internationally recognised, The Pink Door Photographs represent a significant body of work, untraditional in concept, illumination or composition...is unlike any work currently in the media surrounding the Haitian disaster and their sole purpose is to raise attention at the end of June...to lift the veil if you will, for others to understand that this rich culture still greatly needs our help.
As a nation and as individuals they are proud and refuse to be defined by images of dead bodies, massive amounts of rubble or statistics so I felt that...there was room to create images full of dignity, to give them respect, to listen to their stories and help shoulder the weight they carry in the midst of such great loss. The exhibition in London, the creation of The Pink Door Photographs in March of 2010, all were created to help raise awareness and so the collection will be used by top tier organisations to focus the public on the work they've accomplished and to seek partners for the long road ahead. Nearly 16 months have passed with no end in sight to the suffering being endured within the Haitian community. This trailer was created to help raise awareness and will be used online to promote the event and give those faces within my portraits a voice...to remind us that "they're still out there...surviving as best they can."