In the News: Police kill unarmed peasants in another controversial eviction

by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté

Haitian police have killed four people and destroyed seven homes in an attempt to clear peasants from a remote mountain-top park where they have lived and farmed for the past 70 years. The bloody confrontation, which occurred (July 23, 2012) exactly 25 years to the day after an infamous 1987 peasant massacre near the northwestern town of Jean-Rabel, has incensed the Southeast Department’s population and redoubled charges that the President Michel Martelly’s government is resurrecting the repressive tactics of the Duvalierist and neo-Duvalierist dictatorships which ruled and scarred Haiti over two decades ago.

The incident was first reported and photographed by Claudy Bélizaire of the Jacmel-based Reference Institute for Journalism and Communication (RIJN). His photographs of bloody corpses and burned houses in Galette Seche/Seguin, a remote locality near the peaks of some of Haiti’s highest mountains, have gone viral on the Internet, Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, the mainstream media has largely ignored the story to date.

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Review of Leah Gordon’s photo exhibition

‘The photographic representation, Haiti’s external perception, is the crucible of racial anxiety’, Leah Gordon tells me. Her black and white photographs of the pre-Lenten Mardi Gras Kanaval in Jacmel, Haiti intervene in this cultural milieu, but act less as ethnographic documents and more as performed ethnography, as Myron M Beasley, Professor of African-American Studies at Bates College has categorised them. Existing between portraiture and reportage, the photographs tap into the cultural memory and history that the characters captured re-enact, through the uncanny, the grotesque, the hyperbole celebrated and exorcised through this folk ritual. ‘I was very impressed by the fact that the production of culture is still in the hands of the subaltern class in Haiti, which makes a co-existence with the production of history’. Through the confident gaze of the camera- a 50 year old Roleiicord twin lens reflex- this history becomes an Artaudian spectacle, one in which identity is displaced, tapping into an otherness that is dominant and reflexive.

a-n Magazine‘s review of Leah Gordon’s exhibit: “Leah Gordon: Kanaval – Vodou, Politics And Revolution On The Streets Of Haiti”

Details about the show

Exagerated Claims: Assessing the Canadian Military’s Haiti Earthquake Response

by Roger Annis
Published in Haiti Liberte, Vol 3 #12, October 6, 2010

For the past several months, the Canadian armed forces have staged speaking events in cities across Canada to vaunt its role in Haiti in the month following the earthquake. Vancouver got its turn on Sept. 17 when one of the commanders of the two warships sent to Haiti shortly after the earthquake spoke at two events.

Commander Josée Kurtz of HMCS Halifax spoke before a small public forum hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. For several weeks prior, the Institute featured a large photo display at its entrance of the military's presence in Haiti following the earthquake, a mission it calls Operation Hestia.

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