victor parker photography | HAITI 1978
Visitors 18
146 photos

Photographs I made on an assignment for a magazine in 1978. I was there for a fashion shoot in an exotic location. On my own time I also photographed the local people of Port au Prince. I recently found these in storage where they have been all of these years. These are new scans of mostly never before seen photographs. All medium format except where noted. (Instead of the Rolliflex I made some images with an old Brownie 120 film camera. Also there are some 35mm color film, too.) "What a time to visit Haiti !!! It looks like a time capsule, from today’s perspective. All the places you saw may not exist after the more recent, earthquake induced changes. Concrete rubble is all I remember from recent images. The people appear disarmingly honest. The absence of guile is a good thing. Thanks for sending the portraits of so many souls, they’re a joy to behold. You must have charmed them to have received such willing compliance." Bob Warner "I am happy you were able to see the entire slideshow, not that it is something you would want to go out of your way to look at!! Not very nice these photos of poverty stricken people. But these negatives have been sitting in my storage for nearly 40 years (along with hundreds more) and I need to get this work finished as no one will ever see it regardless of how good it might be as long as it stays in boxes. I never had the time or the money all those years ago to get everything printed that I took photos of. NO, it is not a place to go on vacation. The poverty of Haiti has been a cover up for decades now. Where did all the $5 Billion in donations go after the 2010 earthquake? Bill Clinton was in charge so that probably answers that question. I was told in 1978 to be very careful as papa doc's son's henchmen did not like snoopy photographers taking lots of pictures. And when I returned to New York no one, not even the Haitian Embassy wanted anything to do with these photos. I was told not to get too pushy with them. And now with the pictures emerging from Haiti of the hurricane you can see that nothing has changed there. Every one is still poverty stricken and 200,000 are still living in tents in Port au Prince after the earthquake.
We stayed in an exclusive enclave called Habitation Leclerc. The sign appears in some of the pictures I took. It is still there but in ruins since closing in 1983. It was an exclusive hide-away for the rich and famous like Mick Jaeger, Jacqueline Onassis and so forth. There were about 12 individual two and three bedroom villas each with its own pool and staff and each with a name after or owned by a famous visitor. We stayed in the villa owned by the famous French designer Hubert de Givenchy . It was richly planted with exotic trees and was like a botanical garden. In fact I read on the internet the other day some company is now trying to revive it. The compound was surrounded by people living in hovels and pitch board houses and corrugated tin roofed houses. Voodoo was the main religion practiced by most of the people and every night we would hear the drums and ceremonies taking place just over the compound wall. We attended a voodoo ceremony one night at a large voodoo ground outside of the city. I have color slides of that ceremony still in storage. You will see a few pictures mainly of the pool and the waiters toward the end of the slideshow."
Haiti Scene 11  1978Haitian Woman 2 1978Haitian Woman 1978Haiti Scene 7a (page 219) 1978Port au Prince, Haiti Capitol Building c 1978Haiti statue  1978View of Port au Prince, Haiti  1978Haitian Scene 2b  1978Haitian Scene 13  1978Haitian Scene 3 1978Haitian Scene 3b 1978Haitian children 1a 1978Haaiti Scene 9 1978Haiti Scene 1 1978Haiti Scene 1b 1978Haitian Scene 6  1978Haiti Scene 4a 1978Haitian Scene 5  1978Haitian Scene 8 1978Charcoal Vendor c, Haiti  1978