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News & Features » January 2014 » Spotlight on FotoKonbit

Spotlight on FotoKonbit

To celebrate the release of Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, edited by Edwidge Danticat, Akashic will be spotlighting Haitian organizations on our website. Today, we’re pleased to feature FotoKonbit, a nonprofit organization to which a portion of the profits from Haiti Noir 2 will be donated. We invited FotoKonbit to tell us about their work and to share some of the photography produced by their students. From Executive Director Marie Arago:

FotoKonbit logoFotoKonbit is a nonprofit organization created to empower Haitians to tell their own stories through photography. We teach photography to children and adults in Haiti.

FotoKonbit was founded in 2010 by a group of Haitian (and one American) photographers, artists, and educators. We have worked with over one hundred students from nine different communities and we are currently working in five communities: a group of adults in the southern agricultural town of Camp-Perrin; adults in the fishing village of Labadie; children in the cities of Jacmel and Cap-Haïtien; and we teach a weekly photography class at the Zoranje school just outside of Port-au-Prince.

Each group we work with is different. The group of adults in Camp-Perrin started a photography club that we were able to get some digital cameras donated to. The members of the photography club can check out the cameras to use for artistic or commercial purposes. Last year were able to bring one of the members of this group (who had never left Haiti) to the Dominican Republic, and photographs of his experience were exhibited in Santo Domingo.

Photo courtesy of FotoKonbit

Photo: Lidi Metor, Port-au-Prince; courtesy of FotoKonbit

At the Zoranje school we have a weekly photography class with youth between the ages of twelve and sixteen. The students are taught to express themselves visually and encouraged to document their ever-changing community. The area surrounding the Zoranje school (as well as the Zoranje school) is a relatively new and quickly developing community. The current and future photography students at Zoranje will be photographing the development and changes in their community over time.

Photo courtesy of FotoKonbit

Photo: Erika St. Lot, Port-au-Prince; courtesy of FotoKonbit

In 2011 we began working with a group of ten men and women from the fishing village of Labadie, which is very close to Haiti’s only cruise port, in the north of Haiti. The participants of this group have been documenting their lives, community, and some surrounding historical locations, and are now able to sell the images they have produced as gift cards to tourists at the Labadie resort.

Photo courtesy of FotoKonbit

Photo: Myrmara Prophete, Milot; courtesy of FotoKonbit

We also work with groups of children in the cities of Jacmel and Cap-Haïtien. With both of these groups the children have photographed historic sites and architecture, learned about the history of their towns, and documented their communities.

Photo courtesy of FotoKonbit

Photo: Jocenel Dezamours, Labadie; courtesy of FotoKonbit

FotoKonbit has had exhibitions in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Suresnes, Miami, New Jersey, and Houston and we have a permanent exhibition wall at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Photo courtesy of FotoKonbit

Photo: Darry Andy Dulcine, Jacmel; courtesy of FotoKonbit

You can find FotoKonbit on Facebook, Twitter, and on their website.

Join Edwidge Danticat and select Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2 contributors at two upcoming events: January 16th, 2014 at the Brooklyn Public Library (7pm; cosponsored by the Haiti Cultural Exchange and MoCADA), and January 29, 2014, at Books & Books Coral Gables, Florida (8pm; cosponsored by the Little Haiti Cultural Center and the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance.)

Posted: Jan 14, 2014

Category: Akashic in Good Company | Tags: , , , , , ,