American celebrity travel chef Anthony Bourdain recently traveled to Haiti for his t.v. show ‘No Reservations’. During his time in Haiti Sean Penn introduced him to the artists of Grand Rue (though they don’t get name checked).
“A New York Times photograph of a smiling Haitian merchant” Penn explains, “doesn’t speak the story of what’s going on inside these people. There’s a place that’s downtown, in the most devastated part of Port-au-Prince, earthquake wise, rubble still all over the place, and you go into the catacombs, into the kind of slum area where they work, and they’re mostly working outside, some of their studios are inside these concrete structures, and there’s incredible stuff. You’d think it was representative of post-earthquake Haiti. Bodies broken apart, nails in mouths, using pieces of a baby doll. Poverty makes people feel broken apart like in an earthquake in the first place. So that’s been the constant earthquake in this country.”
The video can be seen here. The sequence in Grand Rue begins about seven minutes in.
The show also includes an interview with Richard Morse, proprietor of the Hotel Oloffson.