News / USA

Haitian Earthquake Victim's Sketches Show Disaster, Relief

A black-and-white pencil drawing by Haitian earthquake victim Hugues Larose aboard the US Navy hospital ship Comfort
A black-and-white pencil drawing by Haitian earthquake victim Hugues Larose aboard the US Navy hospital ship Comfort

Multimedia

Audio

A patient's view of the devastation in Haiti and his appreciation for the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort are attracting the attention of those on board.

The black-and-white pencil drawing, with its hard lines and delicate shading, is signed in the lower right corner in neat penmanship: Hugues Larose.  But Thionta Buckner, who helps nurses in the surgical medical ward of the Comfort, says they know Larose by another name.

"[He is]the patient we like to call 'The Artist,'" she said.
 
Larose came to the hospital ship about one week after a concrete wall fell and crushed him during the earthquake, injuring his right leg and fracturing his left clavicle.
 
"Most of the patients we get in, when they first get here, they are still crying about what happened and they are in pain and distress. Him, when he first got here, he was very quiet," added Buckner.

But, after a few days, Larose expressed himself in a different way. A Lieutenant Commander on the ward says Larose asked him for paper and a pencil, which the Lieutenant Commander had to sharpen with a pocket knife.

The Lieutenant Commander says he was moved by the drawing he saw a few hours later, and he photocopied it for a colleague.
 
Before long, copies were taped to doorways and left on tables for others to view. The beauty of the shading, the horrors of the scene and Larose's representation of the U.S. Military were subjects of conversation from the dining hall to the berths.
 
In the image's foreground, a partially dressed woman is trapped beneath a fallen utility pole and another person has half-escaped from a collapsed house. Web-like cracks splinter the concrete, juxtaposed with the straight and uniform lines of the cinder blocks.
 
One person sits in the center of the street, while a dozen others appear to scramble, some with arms in the air, toward the sea, where the Navy hospital ship Comfort and other U.S. ships with helicopters on deck are waiting to help.  Larose says the Comfort means a lot to him because without it, more of his Haitian brothers would have died.
 
Reclining on a lower bunk in the ward, with a dark green sling across his shoulder, Larose shows his sketches. His easel appears to be a metal board that could be used for patients' charts.
 
Before the earthquake, Larose made his living painting scenes from folklore and seascapes. These brightly colored scenes show people dancing, cleaning, cooking, and playing instruments on the porches of pink and yellow homes, with sailboats pulling up to the shore in the background. 

Now Larose uses pencil on white paper to illustrate the disaster.  Larose says sketching helps him cope. Haiti will be re-constructed, he says, but there will always be his drawings as a reminder of the earthquake's devastation.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs