Normand Blouin

Kabul, May 1992: A young Afghan woman looks at X-rays of her son’s head after he was wounded by shrapnel from an exploding anti-personnel land mine. During the civil war in Afghanistan, many children have been hurt by stepping on such land mines. Different from anti-tank mines, they are designed specifically to hurt people and are often found in fields where children are apt to play.
“For me, this picture represents the result of man’s madness, and the atrocities he commits, during war,” says photographer Normand Blouin. “Anti-personnel mines are a real plague. Scattered across almost eighty countries, they are a global humanitarian problem that, most of all, touches the lives of children and women.”
Afghanistan, one of the countries most affected by these land mines, signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in 2002, ten years after Normand’s took this picture. “It was published in the Montreal Gazette when I returned from Afghanistan, but I believe it’s a strong picture that could be used even today with great impact—perhaps to change the position of non-signatory countries.”
Thirty-six countries have still not joined the 1997 treaty: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burma, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tonga, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Normand Blouin is a self-taught photographer born in Montreal in 1955. He launched his career as a photojournalist in Haiti in 1988 when the country was under the reign of General Henri Namphy.
Over the course of his career he has covered stories in the country formerly known as Yugoslavia, Afghanistan in 1992 and 1993, in Armenia in 1994, and Cuba in 1993 as well as 1998 for the visit of Pope John Paul II. He returned to Haiti in 2000, 2004 and 2010.
During the past five years, he has been based out of Washington DC where he has had daily access to the White House for the New York press agency Polaris. In 2007 and 2008 he worked out of Dakar, Senegal as a Reuters correspondent. His photos have been published throughout the world, more notably in Time, Newsweek, L’Express, Le Point, The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post as well as a multitude of local and international newspapers.
Over a period of ten days in February of 2010, he covered the horrible catastrophe of the earthquake in Haiti. He is the instigator and coordinator of the photo exhibition Haiti Exposed.