“When I first went to Haiti in 1998, I went as did many other photographers—intent on taking cargo in a film canister back to the West (little aware of the similarities between ourselves and those involved in transporting the cargo of the Atlantic slave trade centuries ago). Almost ten years later, by chance, I began living with Haitian families and came to understand that despite their lives of material poverty they were perhaps the most giving people I have encountered in all my travels around the world. Living with Haitians made me a witness to the beautiful movement in their daily lives. I have come to understand that you cannot create an honest portrait of someone unless you know them, respect them, and have shared their love.
Haiti does not reveal her secrets easily. Nor does she make everyone privy to her spirit. If she comes to know you, and has taken kindly to you, she can be overwhelmingly generous. I am certain Haiti has laid her mark upon me, and I am grateful. These images are evidence of that mark.”—Titus Brooks Heagins
Haiti: Before the Earth Moved
Photographs by Titus Brooks Heagins
On view through December 14, 2012
Allen Gallery, 2nd floor, Allen Building, West Campus, Duke University
Images from this exhibition were featured at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris in 2010 and at Atlanta Celebrates Photography in 2011. The images here are part of a larger body of work, Haiti: Before the Earth Moved.
Titus Brooks Heagins is a documentary and fine art photographer. His work explores the lives of people often thought of as the “Other.” Heagins’s projects have taken him to Africa, Asia, South America, Europe, and throughout the Caribbean, working extensively in Cuba and Haiti. Portfolios of Heagins’s photography are included in the collections of several museums, including the North Carolina Museum of Art, Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, North Carolina Central University Art Museum, the Lehigh University Museum Zoellner Galleries, and Casa de Africa in Havana, Cuba. He received a BA from Duke University in 1989 and an MFA in photography from the University of Michigan.
Sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies.