Cristina Baussan is a documentary photographer and writer based in New York City. Drawing on her French, Haitian, Salvadoran and American heritage, her work explores themes of identity and belonging with a focus on environmental issues, immigration and youth culture. Upon graduating from Syracuse University in 2015, she moved to Haiti where she co-founded a multimedia cooperative and collaborated with local NGOs to document their social projects. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Public Radio International, Univision, PROOF National Geographic, American Photo and UNICEF. In 2017, she was nominated for World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass and was selected as a fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation the following year. She is currently in Mexico City, working as the visual summer intern for the Associated Press.
2018 - International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), 2017 - World Press Photo 2017 Joop Swart Masterclass
Overwhelmed by her poor economic situation and finding no alternative, Djuna’s mother took off one afternoon, and never came back. Djuna, 15, now lives with her stepfather in Martissant, one of the most violent neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, in a home damaged by the 2010 earthquake.
Like many children living in domesticity, Djuna is forced to do most of the chores around the house. While her younger sister goes to school, Djuna’s daily routine includes cleaning the floor, washing the dishes, and making her stepfather’s bed.
Fris Belfleur, Djuna’s stepfather, grew up with many siblings and parents that were always around. When his wife left, however, his situation worsened. While he has two kids living under his roof, Fris admits that he doesn’t treat them both equally. “I beat Djuna because she is not my biological child,” he says. “Life is hard for me. I don’t have a job and I struggle to find food to put on the table, so when she doesn’t listen, I take it out on her.”