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After the Quake

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Pa Bouje Anko: Don't Move Again, on display at Light Work, presents images taken by Laura Heyman in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, before and after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake that devastated that city. These aren't documentary-style photos, shot during December 2009 and March and May of 2010, showing the earthquake's impact on a family or viewing the destruction visited on one building. The vast majority of the images depict residents of Port-au-Prince on the edge of city streets, in an outdoor studio where Heyman shot their portraits with an 8-by-10 field camera, against a cloth backdrop.These portraits are the exhibit's lifeline. On one level, they're detailed and intimate, an example of what a skilled photographer can accomplish. On another, they're honest and functional. Heyman didn't ask her subjects to dress a particular way or to strike a particular pose. She asked people if they wanted to be photographed and encouraged them to stand and gesture in a way they found comfortable. In addition, she took the same approach before and after the earthquake. Thus, there's no significant difference between portraits taken in December 2009 and four months later.

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