New York, New York. For the official opening of the Stonehenge-Luce Non-Profit Space, the storefront hosted the exhibition assembled by Project Istwa in memory of the tragic January 12th, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. These stunning visuals reminded us of the persisting beauty that exists in a country in desperate need for help.
Project Istwa teaches Haitian youth to capture their own realities digitally and then shares these amazing images with the world. By teaching these children the art of photography, Project Istwa gives them an incredible opportunity to open a facet of their minds to the world and develop an interesting perspective on their own country. There is no greater power than that of education, and by giving these children the tools to learn something new, Project Istwa is doing the greatest good of all.
This exhibition of 36 photographs, La Difference, is both poignant and richly beautiful. Viewers will see just some of the ways Haitian youth view Haiti after the tragic January 12, 2010 earthquake. Part of Project Istwa’s mission is for people to gain a more intimate view of the country, a view beyond the headlines. Here, Project Istwa’s participants from earthquake-affected communities show us both the devastation and the hope they see around them. Below each capture, the children wrote a short note on the image’s object and it’s respective context. This gave them the chance to beautifully complement each individual piece of art by associating words with shapes and colors. I was touched by the awareness they demonstrated about the conditions they lived in, often giving a rather accurate depiction their horrific living conditions.
If only every day of January could be this warm; like the stunning colors of the landscape of Haiti and the spirits of the people that were laying their eyes on these captures illuminated by the smiling faces of these children. Thinking of all the people that lost their lives three years ago in this context gave us hope for a better future on this island.