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The Perpetual Liberation

Edited by Nadine Olonetzky
By (photographer) Thomas Kern


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  • A unique and powerful portrait of contemporary Haiti, its culture and people
  • Allows a highly differentiated view of the country that reaches beyond far day-to-day media coverage
  • The first comprehensive publication of Thomas Kern's long-term project
Full Description

Haiti has long been known as a benighted place of poverty and corruption. Even before the 2010 earthquake destroyed much of the country, it was beset by difficulties inextricably rooted in its history of rebellion and revolution. Since gaining independence from France in 1804, following the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world, Haiti’s past has been characterised by dictatorships, serious conflict, and near-constant social and political unrest, as the country struggles to define its independence and realise its potential. Haiti: The Perpetual Liberation collects some 140 of photographs of Haiti by Swiss photographer Thomas Kern, taken in black and white with an analogue camera over the course of twenty years of travel there. As the photographs demonstrate, the people of Haiti remain passionate about their home in the face of crushing poverty and crisis. Behind the barrage of bad news that dominates the public image it is a country full of hope and life. The photographs, which make up the first part of a four-part boxed set, are joined by three separate text booklets each in one of three languages: English, German, and Creole. These feature texts by Kern on his work and approach to the country, as well as two essays by Swiss journalist Georg Brunold and Haitian novelist Yanick Lahens, which provide context and commentary for the images and discuss the country’s people and culture, and its enduring political conflict. A powerful photographic portrait, Haiti: The Perpetual Liberation shows a different, more personal and therefore also more ‘ordinary’ view of the troubled country that reaches beyond what we think we know about Haiti. Accompanies the exhibition Thomas Kern Haiti: The Perpetual Liberation at Fotostiftung Schweiz in Winterthur (17 September 2016 to 29 January 2017). Text in English, German, and Creole.

About the Author

Georg Brunold lives and works in Switzerland as a freelance publicist and writer. Thomas Kern graduated with a degree in photography from Zurich's School of Design in 1989 and has since been working as a freelance photographer. He has won various prizes, such as the World Press Photo Award and the Swss Press Photo Award. Yanick Lahens lives and works as a writer and radio presenter in Port-au-Price. Nadine Olonetzky is freelance cultural publicist and photo editor with Scheidegger & Spiess publishers.

Scheidegger & Spiess
21st Dec 2016
Multiple-component retail product
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
165 mm x 110 mm
628 Pages
1 color, 142 b&w
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