Pain and Suffering and Joy and Resilience in Haiti


Nance Farese, a social documentary photographer and founder of writes a beautiful text to accompany her spectacular photos, which document her stay in the earthquake ravaged country. Starting with a quote by Joseph Campbell—“Suddenly you are ripped into the experience of being alive. Life is pain; life is suffering; life is horror, but by God you are alive and it is spectacular!”—she captures the poignancy and dignity of the many scenes she lived. I highly recommend reading the complete piece. Here is a brief excerpt, with a link to the full article below:

She writes: Suddenly I am alive, and I am in Haiti. I am on a search for toys, because toys are linked to play, and play is linked to being human, or so I think, so I’m taking my camera to Haiti to explore this idea. I find myself in the evening light at La Piste, an old airfield, very near Surpiste, “the runway”, which I had known from the 2010 post-earthquake days as the site of one of the largest displacement camps. I have a photo of a boy from that time scurrying off with prized slabs of concrete on his head.

I photographed banks of cell phones, as orderly as fish at the market, drinking precious electricity and lining the pocket of someone very clever. In this instant, tragic community, barbershops and food stores had opened within hours, and the arrival of NGOs to fill the giant bladders of fresh water was avidly monitored. What I remember most is poverty, extreme poverty, and a quiet mist of fear that subsumed all of us in Haiti in early 2010; fear that random powers — disease, violence, geology, politics — could reach out again, anytime. Even now the damp pervasiveness of that fear is tangible to me as I look at those photos.

For full article, see

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