Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Les Stone: Haiti's Voodoo

Image Copyright © Les Stone-All Rights Reserved

This month's Digital Journalist brings us the gripping work on voodoo in Haiti by photographer Les Stone.

Les Stone is an acclaimed photographer who chronicled the human cost of conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Kosovo, Liberia, Cambodia and Haiti, among other troubled spots. He won several World Press Photo Awards and Picture of the Year Awards, and has covered stories often ignored by the mainstream media, including the deadly legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the plight of Iraqi Kurds fleeing the first Gulf War, and the deployment of child-soldiers in Africa. His photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time, Life, Paris Match, Stern and Fortune, as well as on the pages many books.

Voodoo is a name attributed to a traditionally West African spiritual system of faith and ritual practices which are espoused in Haiti (among other places). Haitian Vodouisants believe, in accordance with widespread African tradition, that there is one God who is the creator of all, referred to as "Bondyè" (from the French "Bon Dieu" or "Good God"). Bondyè is often considered the same God of other religions, such as Christianity and Islam. It is the spirits that the Vodouisant turns to for help, as well as to the ancestors. The Vodouisant worships God, and serves the spirits, who are treated with honor and respect as elder members of a household might be.

Les Stone's Voodoo on Digital Journalist.