Highlight of the Pilgrimage to Saut d'Eau, Ville de Bonheur, 2008 © Thomas Kern

Thomas Kern – Haiti.
The Perpetual Liberation

17 September 2016
to 29 January 2017

16.09., from 6 p.m.

Thomas Kern (*1965), co-founder of the Swiss photo agency Lookat Photos, made a name for himself in the 1990s with reportages focussing on the impact of war and conflict. In 1997 he travelled to Haiti for the first time on a commission for the cultural journal du. Since then he has repeatedly returned there so as to capture the turbulent history of the former “pearl of the Antilles”. In classical black and white, Kern documents the daily struggle for survival in one of the world’s poorest countries – discrete and yet as close to the people as possible. His images reveal the great individual efforts and the small joys of an everyday life marked by natural catastrophes, political instability and a gradual ecological disaster. They also speak about the history of slavery and the refuge provided by the spiritual world of voodoo. The exhibition will show images from more than fifteen years and bring to a brilliant end Kern’s most extensive long-term project to date and one that emerged in the field of tension between prolonged misery and an unbounded will to live.

A book will be published by Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich, parallel to the exhibition.

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Guided tours

With the support of the Bundesamt für Kultur, Berne, the Friends of the Fotostiftung Schweiz and the Georg and Bertha Schwyzer-Winiker Foundation.