Haiti's Children: Hope Amidst the Rubble, Reception
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall (1st floor)
Monday, Nov. 4
4 - 5:15pm
*Haitian snacks/refreshments will be served*
Please join the Padnos International Center for the opening reception of the exhibit, Haiti's Children: Hope Amidst the Rubble, a photographic essay by our colleague, Dr. Steven L. Smith.
About the exhibit:
The country of Haiti, a short hour and a half plane trip from the U.S., was hit by a massive earthquake in January, 2010, that killed between 46,000 and 86,000 Haitians, according to recently revised figures. Several hundred thousand remain in patchwork tent cities in and around the capital now, nearly 4 years later, complicated by no infrastructure, 85% unemployment, no real industry or raw materials, a dysfunctional government, and alleged corruption throughout the country.
In 2012, Dr. Steven L. Smith, from the Grand Valley School of Social Work, spent his sabbatical working in Haiti among some of the many "tent cities" housing homeless families following the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. Dr. Smith also worked in a private orphanage, and a new school for restavek (indentured servant) children built through the missionary efforts of several U.S. citizens. Part of his work included a documentary photographic essay of the children and family situations he encountered during his time in one of the "tent cities". Dr. Smith expected, and found, a living environment which for many included horrible shelter and sanitary conditions, inadequate food, water, medical and psychological care, and a non-functioning economy. However, many children not only survived, but thrived in conditions that are far more brutal than some of the worst poverty in the United States. These Haitian children, mostly living a meager daily existence without regular clean water and sporadic food consisting of mostly beans and rice, were happy, hopeful and created a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos that consumed the adults. This photo essay intersperses images of tragedy along with photographs of these homeless families and children, in a surprising picture of hope amidst the rubble.
This exhibit is ongoing through December 13. Free and open to the public. The Red Wall Gallery is located in Lake Superior Hall on the Allendale Campus. For more information call the GVSU Art Gallery at (616) 331-2563 or visit: www.gvsu.edu/artgallery/
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