The catastrophic earthquake, which hit Haiti on the 12th of January 2010, resulted in the deaths of around 222,000 people.
The city of Port-au-Prince has collapsed, entire districts have been erased, and all the main facilities (hospitals, banks, police stations, prisons…) seriously damaged. Not even the Presidential Palace or the United Nations building were spared.
Even before this tragedy, Haiti faced difficult living conditions: poverty, political violence and organized crime were everyday emergencies. The earthquake just made this situation even more dramatic. According to UNHCR estimates, today there are around 1.5 million displaced people in Haiti, surviving in emergency camps without running water or health services.
This photographic project, which is very much a work-in-progress, documents the aftermath of the quake, showing not only the days immediately following the event: the devastation, the victims, the sacks, and the lack of the aid, but also the tough living conditions of the displaced people, the development of the social and political situations, and the rebuilding of the city’s facilities.
Riccardo Venturi was born in Rome in 1966. A Graduate from the “Istituto Superiore di Fotografia” in Rome, he started his career in 1989, documenting Italian and European social issues such as illegal immigration and the rise of Nazi movements in Germany, or the early years of democracy in Albania. In the mid-1990 s his attention was drawn mainly towards countries in conflict, in particular Afghanistan, winning the prestigious World Press Photo prize in 1996.
In 1997 he received an honourable mention at the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for his reporting of the war in Kosovo. Ever since, he has travelled to countless countries at war, including Somalia, the Gaza strip, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In recent years, Venturi has continued to cover some of the most significant international events, such as the tsunami in Sri Lanka and the earthquake in Iran in 2003, alternating them with personal investigations, such as a long term project about the global spread of tuberculosis, conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization. In 2008, he won the” Marco Lucchetta” award and in 2007 the UCSI award for photography. More recently, Venturi has published a book about Middle-Eastern identity, sponsored by the “Tres Culturas Foundation”, in collaboration with the Spanish writer-journalist, Eduardo del Campo Cortez.