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Kick at the Darkness: Exploring the impact of trauma and aid work

In the spring of 2013,. I launched a crowd-funding campaign on StartSomeGood to explore the topic of the psycho-social impact of humanitarian work on aid workers. It was born out of my own personal journey of healing and reflection after returning from an intense deployment in Haiti. What was initially proposed as a photo-essay has transformed into a short documentary.

I’m in the process of editing and will present the finished short documentary at the Global International Education week at the University of Alberta at the end of January.  I humbly admit that the process of translating my message through film is very challenging compared to writing or photography, but it will be what it will be and my objective is to, at the very least, create dialogue about the issue. I have acknowledge the generosity and support of my friend and yoga teacher Lisa Tierney who has given her time, her editing skills, access to CTV studios and her passion and leadership to produce this project.

While the short film is speckled with some photography from Haiti, I wanted to write a blog that included some images from my time there in June. My objective with these photos is so show the juxtaposition between beauty and desolation; vibrant colours versus starkness; the oft forgotten beauty of the Haitian landscape alongside the reminders of a natural calamity that shook the country. The consistency between those extremes though, are the warmth, smiles and hospitality that greeted me each step of the way.

Mesi Haiti, once again. For allowing that stirring in my heart that always resurfaces when I land on your shores. And for allowing me to tell this story, with the beauty of your people and your landscape.

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About the author

Amy Brathwaite:


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