Dancing without a parquet dance floor, crossing garbage dumps on the way to school, dreaming of running a nail studio, learning in corrugated iron shacks, singing in a church without a roof, laughing at the cramped living conditions: British photographer Tariq Zaidi does not cling to the cliché of “poor but happy”. However, with his pictures taken in the biggest slum in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, he wants to show the persevering vigor of people who have to live under such conditions.

An estimated 80,000 live in the shacks that form Jalousie, the slum that clings to the steep slopes of the city: without running water, without waste collection and with intermittent electricity. Zaidi encountered a special sense of community here, and children full of hope and ambition.

Curriculum Vitae: Tariq Zaidi (Caters News Agency, Getty Images)

Portrait: Tariq Zaidi

© Tariq Zaidi

Tariq Zaidi is a freelance photographer based out of London, England. Zaidi’s photography focuses on inequality, endangered communities and social change. He aims to capture the spirit and dignity of people in connection with the environment that they inhabit. Zaidi has worked in 18 countries across 4 continents, mainly in the developing world. His work has been shown in over 60 international exhibitions, and has been featured in over 700 publications since August 2015, including The Guardian, BBC News, CNN, National Geographic, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, El Pais, The LA Times and Smithsonian Magazine, among other respected international titles.

Zaidi was awarded the ‘Photographer of the Year’ prize in POYi75 2018 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) for his work from Congo, North Korea and Brazil. He is one of the winners of the PDN Photo Annual 2018 in Photojournalism/Documentary, and is the recipient of the Marty Forscher Fellowship Fund for outstanding achievements in humanistic photography, presented by Parsons Design School. Zaidi’s current project is a visual anthology of dignity and community in some of the poorest regions of the world, entitled ‘Capturing the Human Spirit’. The first three instalments of the project were featured at Visa Pour L’image, International Festival of Journalism (Perpignan, France) in September 2018.


More information on the competition and the UNICEF Photo of the Year 2018 reportages.

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Renowned photographers from all over the world take part in the contest. An independent jury decides upon the winner.

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