Haiti - Kanaval 2017
Haiti sits in a very precarious spot - the country is still deeply dysfunctional after so many years of natural disasters and a political crises that forced a contested presidency until just very recently. That said, Kanaval presents a very unique look into both the cultural and political life of the country...and it is visually arresting just to see it. Jacmel is specifically famous for it's mask artists and the pinnacle of their craft is the creations they make for the annual carnival. The masks reference religious and cultural themes, drawing from the voodoo tradition amongst other things. They also can have deep political symbolism. The parade itself is an intense, beautiful, and often surreal mashup of painted bodies, masks, and general craziness and serves as a broader opportunity for Haitians to express themselves outside of the stereotypes so often associated with the country as a whole.