Photo Essay: Fault Lines
Haiti after the earthquake.
Haiti is a country famously battered by disasters both natural and man-made. After a decade-long slave revolt finally succeeded, in 1806, in overthrowing the ruling French colonists, Haiti became the world’s first black-led republic and the first independent country in the Caribbean. But France retaliated by demanding crippling payments to compensate for its lost slaving profits—the beginning of Haiti’s economic woes. Later, the United States became the country’s de facto colonizer, occupying the island from 1915 to 1964 and allegedly playing a role in the 2004 ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Then, in 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck, killing over three hundred thousand people and leaving 1.6 million homeless. Benoit Aquin’s photos are a moving paean to post-earthquake Haiti—a place alive with dignity, misery and history in equal parts.