Photojournalism: Restaveks, the “Ultimate Have-Nots in a Society of Have-Nots”

Repeating Islands


Deborah Sontag (The New York Times) reports on the work of Vlad Sokhin, a photographer who has been focusing on Haiti’s restaveks for a series called “Restavek: Child Slavery in Haiti.” Sontag explains: “Haiti is estimated to have 250,000 restaveks—children working as unpaid domestic servants after their parents, who cannot afford to raise them, give them away.” While the photo above seems to be benign enough, most of the other photos in the series were positively bone-chilling. Here are excerpts of the article with links to the full version and the series of sobering photos:

Twelve-year-old Judeline crouches at the feet of a much younger girl, lifting high a makeup kit so the little girl, Boubou, can apply a colored pencil to her brow. Boubou studies herself intently in the kit’s mirror; Judeline, hidden to her, stares at us with a look that seems both humiliated and beseeching. Taken by…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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