Tent Life in Haiti: Portraits of Profound Dignity in the Wake of Devastation

Tent Life in Haiti: Portraits of Profound Dignity in the Wake of Devastation

Photography by:  Wyatt Gallery, NYC

January 12, 2011, will mark one year to the day that the devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, resulting in what is arguably the worst natural disaster in modern history.  Of the 1.5 million Haitian people who lost their homes in the earthquake, the majority are still living in makeshift tent cities, and the promised billions of dollars in foreign aid have yet to materialize.  While financial donors and peacekeepers have resources that vastly overshadow those of the Haitian government, a lack of coordination in their endeavors has hampered the country’s efforts to recover.

Tent Life: Haiti is a very timely collection of stunning portraits of dignity, hope and joy by New York photographer Wyatt Gallery, inspirational photographs that show the reality of Haitian lives a year after the earthquake’s destruction and its aftermath.  Gallery’s photographs present an artful and unselfconscious study of the resilience of an irrepressible people.  They are beautiful narrative illustrations of the lives of a people experiencing a painfully arduous process of recovery, but they don’t romanticize the tent cities or the desperate living conditions of the Haitians who were rendered homeless by the earthquake.

Rather than using the medium of photography mainly as an attempt to understand what has happened in Haiti, Gallery’s portraits reveal a sense of intimacy and closeness with the Haitian survivors, as well as a genuine wish to be helpful.  His work stands as a tender expression of the unexpected and unlikely sense of hope that he discovered in the residents of the Haitian tent cities.

A collection of photographs from Gallery’s Tent Life: Haiti is currently on exhibition at the Umbrage Gallery in Downtown Brooklyn, and will be on display until March 31, 2011.  In addition, Tent Life: Haiti has just been published as a fine art photography book, and 100% of the proceeds will go to four charitable relief organizations: J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Healing Haiti, the Global Syndicate and the Cine Institute.

Tent Life in Haiti: A Documentary Video Journal

We Are The World 25 For Haiti (Official Video)

Tent Life in Haiti: Portraits of Profound Dignity in the Wake of Devastation

(Please Click Image to View Photo-Gallery)

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The Dancer: The Resilience of a Young Orphan in India

The Dancer: The Resilience of a Young Orphan in India

What good is dancing,
If you have no music,
Or if you have no one to dance with?

The Dancer is a very touching narrative documentary short film directed by Seth Stark, which explores the life of a young orphan in India.  The film is a moving testimony to the resilience of children who are forced to cope with extremely difficult living situations, as well as to the potential contributions of benign, compassionate forms of group care for children.

The Dancer: The Resilience of a Young Orphan in India

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The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe on Tour

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, also known as The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, is a dance troupe comprised of Ugandan orphans who tour in order to financially support themselves and the children of two orphanages in Uganda. Most members of the group have lost one or both parents to AIDS, have had parents killed by rebels or have seen poverty or disease cause enough family hardship that parents felt compelled to turn their children over to orphanage care.

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe was founded by Texas banker Alexis Hefley, who first traveled to Uganda in 1993 to live and work with AIDS orphans in Kampala. Upon returning home, she founded the Uganda Children’s Charity Foundation and partnering with Sister Rose Muyinza, who also worked with Kampala-area orphans, launched the Spirit of Uganda Orphans dance touring program in 1996. The Orphans of Uganda Dance Troupe raises awareness about the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, while at the same time supporting the 700 other orphans who live in the two Children of Uganda homes.

Embodying the warmth and light of their nation, The Spirit of Uganda Orphans Dance Troupe is comprised of twenty-two children between the ages of eight and eighteen, who are serving as cultural ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.5 million orphans. Resonant with melodic tones of standing drums, dramatic choreography, bright layered rhythms and gorgeous vocals, The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe recently toured the United States, bringing the transformational power of their native song and dance to America in their spirited and hope-filled performances.

Following is the documentary Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda by Douglas Menuez, as well a video of dance performance by Uganda orphans.

Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda

Uganda Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

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