Jess Obert

Photographer and Filmmaker
Thousands displaced in Port-au-Prince
Location: Port au Prince, Haiti
Nationality: American
Biography: I am a visual journalist and filmmaker based between NYC and Haiti. I worked at the The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, DC, and my work has been published in various publications including Al Jazeera English, Buzzfeed News, The... read on
Public Story
Thousands displaced in Port-au-Prince
More than 19,000 people have been displaced from gang violence in the capital of Haiti, and following the assassination of President Moïse on 7 July 2021, and an absence of state, those affected are being further isolated.

Although roads were inaccessible, blocked by armed gangs cutting off Port-au-Prince from the south, I visited one displacement center in June 2021 in Carrefour, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city which housed more than 1500 people.

In the weeks leading up to Moïse’s assassination, gangs shot and killed Darline’s husband, burning his body and forcing the 34-year-old to flee with her children. I sat with another woman, Sala, 49, who came to the center with her five children. A crowd began to form around us, it was hot and cramped, some kids played cards and tag. She had worked as a Madan Sara before being forced to flee, and would transport produce from the provinces to sell in Port-au-Prince. The gangs burnt her home and took her commerce. The street they lived on was called Lajwa, Creole for joy.

"We are in a war zone."

Haiti gang violence and security vacuum thwarts aid delivery
Humanitarian needs were rising before President Moïse’s assassination. Now, they’re even worse, with aid groups struggling to reach people.

Also by Jess Obert —


Ti David

By Jess Obert / Haiti — Little David works as a guide at a sacred waterfall in Saut D’Eau, Haiti. Thousands of Catholics and..

Coronavirus in Haiti: Weakened by past disasters, the country was already in crisis

By Jess Obert / Haiti — Ongoing project covering COVID-19 in Haiti.  From my article written for The New Humanitarian: On a..

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By Jess Obert / Haiti — Since July 2018, Haiti has been gripped by political unrest following rising inflation and the embezzlement..

The Marasa's Dance Beneath Kalbas

By Jess Obert / Haiti — On the outskirts of the town of Mirebalais in the Central Plateau, Haiti, I explore the deep integration and..

Atop a Mountain, There is Deside

By Jess Obert / Haiti — It took 10 hours to reach the village of Deside. On the gravel path, scrambling over rocks, you’d..

The Pate Maker

By Jess Obert / Mirebalais, Haiti — Andony Suprème lives in Mirebalais, Haiti, and makes Pate, a type of fried puff pastry enjoyed for..
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