German Photo Book Award NOMINATED 2016
One Eyeland Photography Awards 2015 GOLD
Prix de la Photographie Paris 2016 HONORABLE MENTION

Alice Smeets
22,5 x 27,5 cm
208 pages, 186 photographs
English, German, French 
Hardcover, bound in linen, 
„French Fold“-jacket

ISBN 978-3-901753-97-8
October 2015


THE GHETTO TAROT interprets traditional tarot cards through the art of photography. The scenes are inspired by the Rider Waite Tarot Deck, designed in 1919 by artist Pamela Colman Smith, and were recreated with a group of Haitian artist, the Atis Rezistans collective, in the ghettos of Haiti. The traditional symbolism of the 78 tarot cards is transformed into timeless codes. “Taking ordinary pictures of the scenes seemed too simple, my aim was to create a very personal deck without losing the spirit of the cards. Therefore I hit on the idea of combining my passions: the spiritual world, the Haitian culture, the philosophical reflections about the dualities in our world and, of course, photography,” says Alice Smeets. The artists of Atis Rezistans had a special part in realizing this project. Not only did they act and model in front of the camera, they also provided and/or constructed the objects needed. Alice Smeets‘ project does not glorify the ghetto, nor does she show the expected image of poverty and despair in the Haitian slums. Instead she presents life in the ghetto in different lights, full of power, life, joy and creativity.

Photo blogger DL Cade, 500px, sums it up perfectly : “The creativity of some photographers astounds me. Just when you think you’ve seen every creative, strange and unique photo idea, another comes along. These fascinating images by award-winning photographer Alice Smeets transform the mysterious cards into real life scenes captured in the ghetto of Haiti.”


Alice Smeets

is a photographer, journalist, artist, film maker, project manager, teacher and traveller. “One descriptor alone does not justice to what I do. I am a free spirit. I follow my heart to realize my dreams and ideas. I had the great good fortune to work with Philip Jones Griffiths, one of the greatest photojournalists of the last century. He taught me valuable lessons about photography and life.” Since 2007 Alice has repeatedly lived and worked in Haiti for extented periods of time. In 2010 she founded Viv Timoun, a non-profit organization to develop projects in Haiti. Alice Smeets has shown her work in many countries and received numerous awards.