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Religion

Haiti

New York street photographer Bruce Gilden captures voodoo and violence in his portrait of the Caribbean island of Haiti

Bruce Gilden

Bruce Gilden Cemetery.Port-au-Prince, Hati. 1988. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Workers in La Saline. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1989. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Soccer stadium, early evening. Port-au-Prince, Haiti.1990. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Funeral reflection. Port-au-Prince., Haiti. 1992. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden La Grande Rue. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1985. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Sunday in a slum area. Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1990. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Man carrying meat outside a cemetery. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1985. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden In a cemetery. Plain-du-Nord, Haiti. 1988. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Shoeshine boys. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1984. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Suspected Tonton Macoute. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1994. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Dead man in La Saline. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1990. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden Dog outside a cemetery. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1990. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

Steeped in Afro-Caribbean culture and brutalised for years by civil strife and the greed of its rulers, Haiti is a nation where the value of life is cheap for humans and worthless for animals.

In his book Haiti, Bruce Gilden opens our eyes to this fascinating and ultimately tragic country. Though only an hour’s flight from Miami and mainland America, Haiti remains the least-developed country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. Gilden’s electrifying images reflect the unconscious violence that runs through this island society from slaughterhouse to street. Also captured is the importance of Voodoo to Haitian culture. Part paganism, part Catholicism, it’s a disconcerting mix of rage and ecstasy that flows through the book.