More than two centuries since enslaved laborers of West African descent evicted French colonials from Haiti's troubled republic, the lot of rural Haitians has changed little. Life is tied to the exhausted land, worked with a hoe to the cycle of seasons. Inhabitants in the Artibonite Valley, who survive on subsistence forms, live with dignity in the face of deprivation, and find solace in a spiritual synthesis of voudoun and Christianity. Andrea Baldeck came to know this world as a volunteer physician at the Valley's Hopital Albert Schweitzer during the 19080s, returning as a photographer in the mid-'90s. Her images reveal hope, resignation, forbearance, pride, strength, and love. These unforgettable portraits are mediated only by trenchant Creole proverbs, a distillation of the Haitian experience.
Andrea Baldeck--musician, physician, and photographer--has had an abiding interest in third world medicine. Her photographs have been exhibited widely and are part of the permanent collections of major museums.