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In Haiti there is a saying: “petit pays, grand peuple” — small country, grand people. I have been looking for your byline in every photo the NY Times has posted because I knew that these are people you’ve known and loved for years and years. I know your heart is broken but it is out of that brokenness that our best work comes.My heart aches for the mothers who’ve lost children, for the children who’ve lost mothers, for the sons who, too young to be a father, have lost theirs and must now help hold together what is left of family, for the old men and women who’ve lived a full life, must watch their children and grandchildren suffer unbearable pain, hunger and with no home except for scrounged carboard and pieces of tin that had been the roof over their heads, for the young married couples with their dreams before them, now shaken to the very core of their beings by the earth that has before sustained them, for the government who now only governs rubble and the non-life of her citizens, for the teachers whose classrooms lie somewhere hidden under tons of debrie, for the children whose education has ceased for now and above all for the loss of time eaten by horror and displacement.I read of the strength and resilence of these people, but is there a limit for which a people can become bent and pounded on from every turn of their existence?
Your humanist eyes describes for us the broad sweep of historical people of Haiti.
Your work with them is a page of dignity, courage and honor. Which culture would you save,the poor children who follow visitors hoping for a handout,the gangsters who roam freely in control of their domains or the wealthy upper classes who work in foreign countries and vacation above the slums which grow day by day.
Has judgement and sentence been served in one fell swoope? Maggie, you are a gem beneath the destruction and despair that belies Haiti.
From where will the Haitains find the resolve to cling to their culture now on the brink of distinction? You’re insight gives us hope and true vision into this enormous tragedy.
They then go home to relatives who live in the most horrible conditions.
They wait for the next boat to come in,hope that their children will learn to read and write and not have to do the backbreaking labor that has long almost vanished here in America.
Like many oppressed people across the planet, it is their culture which is their resistance. But to say that Haitian culture was a sham prior to the earthquake, deprives Haitians of their identity at precisely the moment in time when it should be valued and recognized.
These images are so powerful because of the life they show amidst the destruction.
Maggie, your work transcends the mere acquisition and display of images.
Your work goes beyond the need of consuming images on our civilization.