The Citizens of Port Au Prince, 2001-2004

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La Rue Dessalines, the spinal cord of the city of Port Au Prince, burst into life not giving the sun a chance to kindly greet the new day. Hundreds of people, from all parts of the city and its surroundings, walk or ride to this stretch everyday. They come to work or hoping to find something to do, to buy or wishing that they could, to sell something to somebody, or because it is an unavoidable way to get to their destination. Many come for no reason at all, perhaps because they just can’t stay wherever they were. Others have simply become part of the street, a spot on the sidewalk or the pavement carrying their names, landmarks themselves that have seem events and structures arise and go down. The Haitian citizens, the passersby, are heroes in their own right who bravely take on the streets to find hope in moving.

The street, a testing tube full of events and details, like a barometer could provide a measurement of the social pressures of our times. Baudelaire expressed a similar idea over a century ago, and today its validity stills holds true. This selection of images, part of a more extensive visual investigation, takes place mostly in the city of Port Au Prince – Haiti, from 2001 to 2004, just before president Jean Bertrand Aristide was exiled.

A. M.