Cristina Baussan is a documentary photographer and writer based in Mexico 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 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
"I know you feel uncomfortable, because you have many scars on you. If it were me, I would want to arrest the people that did this to you."
Living in the mountains, far away from the chaos of an overpopulated capital, but also away from education, jobs, and the promising life every child longs for, rural Haitian families are isolated from the opportunities they dream of granting their children.
So they send them away. Some end up in a safe place, welcomed by a close friend or relative. Others face a different reality, as they live in a home where physical and verbal abuse are the norm.
Today, there are over 300,000 children living in domesticity across Haiti, from which the majority are girls.
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.