Haiti: Beyond the spectacle of disaster

Repeating Islands

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Two photo exhibitions reach beyond the country’s well-publicized chaos, as JOHN POHL explains in this review for Montreal’s GAZETTE.

Two photographers who have visited Haiti numerous times over the past 15 years are exhibiting images of the Caribbean nation at two local venues.

Benoit Aquin’s McCord Museum exhibition features photographs taken in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, while Leah Gordon’s street portraits of Haitians in carnival costumes are being shown at the PHI Centre.

Aquin is interested in how people cope with their physical environment, Hélène Samson, McCord’s curator of photography, said at an exhibition preview. She noted that Aquin is a documentary photographer whose work is collected by museums of fine arts. (The National Gallery of Canada recently purchased three of Aquin’s photographs of the Chinese dust bowl, where overuse has transformed a huge area of arable land into desert.)

Aquin’s Haiti: Chaos and Daily Life includes photographs…

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