Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 26, 2010

What The Haitians Did With All That Stuff They "Stole"

Haiti tent cities 9.jpg

Haiti-Tent-Cities-2.jpg Haiti tent city 5.jpg

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I can’t help wondering how many of those scenes in which Haitians were construed to be stealing might have had something to do with the near-miraculous overnight tent cities they’ve been lauded for constructing.

From a New Yorker email exchange with Jon Lee Anderson:

What is the biggest change since we spoke last week?

…(T)he truly striking thing in the past week has been how much the Haitians have helped themselves. There are said to be over three hundred provisional camps in Port-au-Prince, housing over four hundred and fifty thousand people, all of them self-initiated. It is impressive.

We’ve seen many tragic pictures from Haiti. What do the images fail to convey?

The incredible, palpable ebullience and will to survive—the uncomplaining fortitude of the Haitians. People’s lives here—quake or no quake—are very hard. They have borne this stoically and without whining. They look you directly in the eye with pride and spirit and curiosity and most often, friendliness, and they have a great capacity for laughter too—even now. The Haitians are an exceptional people.

(photos: Joe Raedle/Getty Images. January 25, 2010 in Leogan, Haiti. 2 & 3 (via Reuters): Marco Dormino/UN/MINUSTAH/Handout. January 24, 2010.)

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