In Haiti, many families can’t realize the opportunities they dream of granting their children - so the families leave home, or send their children away. Some end up in safe and caring environments, but others encounter exploitation and abuse. This system, called child domesticity, involves more than 300,000 Haitian children, most of them girls.
The practice of domesticity began during Haiti’s colonial era, when European settlers used young children living on the land they claimed for domestic work. In the 1960s, as urbanization sparked heavy internal migration, poor Haitian parents began to rely on family members living in the city to care for their children.
Working collaboratively with young girls who experienced a life in domesticity, this project documents their domestic lives and their attempt to readapt to family life after being reunited with their biological parents.
My intention is to shed light on the different origins and consequences of each narrative, suggesting that domesticity is no singular concept or idea; rather, it is a spectrum in grayscale of all kinds of relationships that shape the realities of Haitian youth.