“I photographed Haiti’s strength — its women.”
That’s the beautiful way photographer Thibault Carron describes the experience of meeting and photographing the women of Haiti.
From April 13 to 20, Carron and fellow photographer Mikaël Theimer traveled around Haiti as part of their Portraits of Montreal project (a nod to Humans of New York). Carron, who is from France but has lived in Montreal for nearly 10 years, told The Huffington Post they decided to head to Haiti since many people in Montreal have roots there. While in cities like Port-au-Prince, they documented the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including Handicap International Canada, Médecins du Monde, KANPE and Anseye Pou Ayiti. In a post for Bored Panda, Carron wrote about what truly caught his attention while in Haiti: “the strength, will and pride … in the eyes of every woman and girl.”
The portraits capture a diverse array of Haitian women, from girls in school to mothers with their children. And Carron told HuffPost that while traveling around Haiti, it was these women that he was particularly struck by.
Carron said that meeting a woman named Marie-Sherline was especially inspirational. According to him, Marie-Sherline’s left leg had been amputated after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. But despite that trauma, she went on to start a small business by selling everyday products to people on the street, using the proceeds to care for herself, her daughters and her mother.
“Today she has to fight to feed her girls, give them access to education and pay her annual rent, but she’s doing it with such unsettling humility, courage and pride, that it’s a lesson for all of us who never really had to fight for anything,” Carron told The Huffington Post.
In the United States, Haiti is most often discussed in the context of natural disasters — since 2009 alone, the country has faced a devastating earthquake, a cholera outbreak and mass flooding. But as Carron’s photographs show, life goes on, often beautifully.
As Carron summed up on Bored Panda, “Haiti is rich, rich of its people.”
Check out more of Carron’s photographs from Haiti below.