What Photographer John Midgley Saw

Photography: John Midgley

What were your expectations prior to visiting Haiti?
I went to Haiti with an open mind. I had read up on Haiti before going and so knew the history. But as an art project I prefer to not know exactly what I’m going to be doing. Otherwise what would be the point of doing it? so I went on a voyage of discovery.

All The images were shot in Cap-Haïtien, how was that different from being in Port-au-Prince?
I didn’t really see enough of Port-au-Prince, so it’s hard to judge.

Haiti is full of surprises, what was the most surprising thing to you?
The Citadelle Laferrière in Cap-Haïtien. The engineering was so advanced for the time and the workmanship was incredible. And when taken in the context of being built just after the slave revolt and there being so few resources it’s completely mind boggling.

What were you shooting with and how did you adjust your shooting style to shoot the content you shot in Cap-Haïtien? I shot with a canon 5D IV. JM:I kept things very simple. I behaved as any tourist would-point and shoot. I had absolutely no plan for the pictures at all. When I got home I didn’t think I even had a series. To be honest this is an incomplete work, it’s the start of something. But the one thing that I really didn’t realize while taking the pictures was that in almost every picture there is a teenager going to school or someone waiting to give them a lift…it’s such a young population.

What would you like to capture on your next trip to Haiti?
I honestly don’t know, I’d have to think about it. Nothing political. Just a look at Haiti. A look from an old white tourist. Have you seen new Brighton’s by Martin Parr? I guess something in that vague vain. In other words a continuation of documenting what I see. What is there-life on the streets. I know that doesn’t make much sense. Does it?

BKc closing statement: It all actually makes a lot of sense considering that from sun up to sun down, Haiti’s capital Port-au-Port Prince and it’s second largest city-Cap-Haïtien are bustling with commerce, kids traveling to and from school and a population of hope filled citizens. The energy in each city differs yet has a common undertone of faith and joy. As well as the understanding that the possibilities are on the streets, where anything goes and anything can happen.