I recently went to Haiti with The Self-Portrait Project as a part of an advocacy campaign for Haitian housing rights. I put together a short montage to give a sense of our experience and the situation there.
The video was shot over a week in various locations in and around Port-au-Prince. It shows a handful of post-earthquake encampments throughout the region, where more than 300,000 internally displaced Haitians still live. The public protest at the end of the video is at the Gaston Magwon encampment where hundreds of families are regularly intimidated, subjugated to violence, and illegally evicted. The protest was held to draw attention to the difficulties that these families face in the housing crisis, and the neglect on part of their own government, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, and the International Organization of Migration.
In addition to assisting with, and shooting behind-the-scenes video of the Self-Portrait Project, I tried to give every encampment the opportunity to share their experience, and to tell their stories of the challenges they face on a daily basis. I filmed interviews with representatives of each encampment and heard stories that were both tragic and inspiring. The hope is, that by sharing these stories, we can bring more international awareness to the problems there, which can ultimately lead to positive change.
[Video by Priest Fontaine]