Haiti one month on

It’s the one month anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti today – the DEC appeal is here,  the Tearfund appeal is here and the Medair appeal is here. The photographic coverage of the disaster has generated a lot of sound and fury across the web, particularly focussing on a couple of photographers offering photographic workshops in the area (with a summary of this discussion on the Huffington Post by Victoria Fine here and discussed on prisonphotography here).

I’m generally more interested in the way people’s stories have been told, and today’s Guardian offered a compelling 12 page photographic insert, featuring some of David Levene’s work, and this very moving gallery of images, recording what people saved from their homes after the quake.

For a very thoughtful and insightful series of comments from working photographers and editors, the New York Times photo blog has a piece here by Patrick Witty, their International Picture Editor.  I think Damon Winter’s essay (one of the NYTimes photographers covering the disaster), about a quarter of the way down echoes my own experiences of working in disaster and conflict situations with other photographers, and makes explicit the struggle between a story (or the fear of missing a story perhaps) and your humanity, which is a line that different photographers will draw in different places. And he puts the lie to the idea that there were too many photographers in Haiti, or that they were taking resources that should have been used for the local population. And he’s clear that his presence at one scene in particular certainly benefitted an individual accused (falsely) of looting, and may indeed have saved his life.

And David Levene of the Guardian (mentioned above) is holding an exhibition of his work from Haiti at the Old Truman Brewery’s Dray Walk Gallery in London E1 from 16-21 February, raising money for the DEC appeal, and he’ll be talking about his time in Haiti at Kings Place London on 17th February.