POTD-I’ll look for something a little more authentic

I did chuckle to myself when i saw these voodoo dolls for sale in Connswater Shopping Centre the other day.

I’m about to embark on a 3 week trip to Haiti where i’ll be producing work for a commission. I’ll be based in Port-au-Prince where I’m going to be producing a series of portraits of stall holders at the newly rebuilt Iron Market. I’ll also be looking at the distribution infrastructure as goods come in from the port to the warehouse to the wholesaler to the stall holders and perhaps even the end user if thats possible.

I do have a few other ideas floating around which i shall endeavour to follow up.

With one flying visit under my belt to what is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, i do have some  idea of what to expect during my 3 week trip. As a country still recovering from the devastating earthquake of Jan 2010 there is much work to be done. Hopefully with the Presidential election results nearly formally announced the country can move forward under the leadership of Michael Martelly and the international aid that was promised (and not yet delivered) will begin to come into the country to help rebuild it.

The problems facing the new President are immense. Approximately only 20% of the rubble from the earthquake has been cleared. Thousands of people are still living in rough and ready tent camps. NGO’s and Aid Agencies are being encouraged not to provide any  permanent facilities at these camps so as not to encourage their permanency. This leads to the obvious health issues with open sewers flowing through the camps. The rainy season will exarcerbate these health problems of the camp dwellers. A Cholera epidemic has killed around 6,000  (it’s believed that only a quarter of all cases are being reported) and with the rainy season about to start the figures are expected to spike. As mentioned, pledges of aid are still yet to materialise so it is incumbant on the new President to gain and build trust amongst the international community to help rebuild his ravaged country.

I’m sad that for the first time since it started, i will not be moochin around covering the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival or the Festival of Fools (no i’m not referring the forthcoming elections) but i’m sure i will have plenty to be getting on with and to photograph. I also gotta say a little bit of me is sad  not to be around for the election but i can’t be in two countries at the same time.

Anyhoo, thats enough of all that, i have some last minute packing to do but rest assured I will be blogging on here about some of my encounters over in Haiti and I want to finish this blog post by saying ”Count your blessings and make your vote count”.

Photographer and visual artist based in Belfast.
I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast.
My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the Arts Council Northern Ireland.
I’ll be blogging about Arts and Culture, primarily in Belfast
check out www.moochinphotoman.tumblr.com