Frantz Fanon and Lessons from a Not So Dying Colonial – remembering Fanon on who died on this day in 1961.
In the early hours [2am] of Thursday 24th the Haitian Nationale Police [PNH] invaded Caradeux, a large camp near Tabarre in Port-au-Prince, with the intention of evicting all 3,000 familie. They were accompanied by the UN occupying force, MINUSTAH who surrounded the camp with tanks, The Organisation of International Migration [OIM] and Keke Belizaire, the man responsible for program 16/6 were also present. Program 16/6 was established by President Martelly in 2011 to forceably dismantle the post earthquake camps by offering residents $500 to move. Much of 16/6 was funded by the Canadian government however apart from paying off residents to move the second part of 16/6, rebuilding 16 ‘slum’ neighbourhoods never happened. Camp residents simply moved to other camps or to live with family or rent for a short period after which they have either become homeless once again or moved to other camps.
Again the question where is the money,[ $12 billion was promised] is being asked. No alternative accommodation or support has been given to thousands of camp residents evicted over the past 15 months.
Following the attempted evictions in the early hours of Thursday, camp residents organized a protest later in the day. They were met with tear gas, batons and bullets, leaving many people injured and in distress. It is not yet clear what role the IOM played in the eviction process but for sure they did nothing to help the residents. CHAL members were present during the police raid giving support to residents, acting as witnesses to the eviction and documenting resident’s stories.
Photos by Serge Supre and documentation by Perrin Mackendy both of CHAL AND Association des Journaliste Free Lance Tête Ensemble
UPDATES TO FOLLOW
By Sokari Ekine @blacklooks
Last year I was alerted to the website Turning World @Turning_world by some friends here in Haiti. The site is run by photojournalist Brad Workman who has an ongoing photo documentary project in Haiti. We took issue with the language, his profitmaking approach, and the fact that there is no acknowledgement let alone giving back to those whose lives he invades under the guise of social documentary. I wrote a post on this that asked the question: Photo Journalism or Poverty Porn?
In a similar vein, many of us are now questioning the website content of the Foundation for International Development Assistance – Productive Cooperatives Haiti (FIDA-PCH), a Canadian NGO operating in Haiti which purports to have set up a number of agricultural cooperatives and literacy projects in rural areas. Below are a set of photographs and text defining what they, the colonial missionaries, imagine it means to be Haitian.
There are different ways to tell a story without invading peoples’ lives and assaulting their dignity. The photos chosen by Haiti’s Camp Acra residents on their blog should be a lesson on how Haitians see themselves – see here and here. In the 1805 Constitution written by the first President of the Black Republic, victorious revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines (also called JanJak Desalin), declared that to be Haitian is to be Black (Article 14). In other words, being Haitian and being African are one and the same –inseparable. The Constitutions also states freedom of worship and no religion shall dominate.