If you don’t know the name Steven Baboun, we strongly recommend you get familiar with it. We became familiar with Steven through the IG feed @stevenbaboun where he consistently shared the most beautiful pictures of Haïti with an artistic and creative flair that took our breath away, NO KIDDING.
We were even more impressed that this artist took the initiative to start the Humans of Haiti project, where he captured very strong images of Haitians from all walks of life.He used his skill to highlight the strength and truth of each subject showing the humanity and dignity of each person he photographed. Because of that, we had to feature him on HaitiLuxe and request a Q&A! We know talent when we see it, and Steven Baboun has talent. His surprising humility made us an even bigger fan! Without further adieu, our Q&A with Mr. Steven Baboun:
Tell us about Humans of Haïti
I started Humans of Haiti last summer after a friend really encouraged me to start the project. I’ve always had a love for good stories and people, and that love extended to Humans of Haiti. This portrait project was simply inspired by Humans of New York. I was really in awe of how fast HONY got picked up and how other countries started to start their own “Humans of.” So, I decided to start one for Haiti. My thought process behind HoH was simply to expose the world to the genuineness of our country. The media is so used to portraying Haiti as poverty-stricken and a total mess for lack of better word; so I wanted to be an insider’s eye and infiltrate Haiti, its people, and its stories to report back to the world… And show that we are more than rubble on the ground. We are real people with real stories that have value and meaning.
When did you Realize you had an Artistic Side?
Many instances have helped me discover my “artistic side.” But, I can vividly remember that one day I was with my cousin, and we were reading an article called “Weird Art” or something. It was essentially showing very alternative paintings and photographs that were both questionable and beautiful. From that day on, I told myself I wanna make art that have people saying “that’s weird! Or huh, I never thought of photographing this that way.” And at that time I just had gotten a camera (I was 14), and it was the only tool in sight so I was like why not? From the first day I turned on my first Canon T3i, I could never turn it off. I was stuck with capturing my surrounding forever. Thank God!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself in a meeting with my friends talking about plans to open up a prestigious art school in Haiti which would include a dance, film and TV, theater, music, and studio art department. It would be by the beach ideally. Very ambitious, no?
What are the top 3 places you would recommend in Haiti?
First, I wanna say that 5 years ago, Haiti did not have nearly as many cool bars, restaurants, and hangouts as it does now! So that makes me excited. My number one stop would have to be Haiku in Petion-Ville. My God! They have this Japanese Bruschetta that will have you literally crying of joy. My second would have to be Yanvalou Bar. I love the atmosphere there and the bartenders are always cracking jokes. My third and last place would have to be the Club Indigo. I can literally stare at the colorful walls and drink their damn good Watermelon juice all day… But I’m there mostly for the walls!
Thank you, Steven, You are absolutely fabulous! By the way, the Beach would be THE ideal place to have an art school!