Ayiti Kraze / Haiti in Fragments Social Text)

“For some, Haiti is the “poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere,” a “failed state,” long on the brink of collapse. For others, Haiti is a beacon of freedom, evidence of the only successful slave revolt in modern history. This forum brings together scholars from different fields of study, and different parts of the world, for a conversation about ways to think about challenges that Haiti has faced since independence, challenges that have been international in scope since this sovereign nation’s sudden and unexpected debut on the world’s stage. Thus besides considering Haiti’s vexed political history and pressing social problems, we are concerned with the way prevailing forms of diplomatic recognition and patterns of international exchange have served to worsen, rather than improve, social institutions and their capacity to serve the people of Haiti.

The title of this forum — Ayiti kraze — stems from a Kreyol expression that often surfaces in moments when political institutions splinter apart (as when Jean-Bertrand Arisitide was ousted in 1991 during a coup d’état). But, the idea of Haiti in fragments also suits this effort to piece together critical insights concerning this tragic predicament. The catastrophic events of January 12, 2010 have already transformed the way many researchers relate to their work. Scholars who typically take years to develop articles and books have organized symposia and published essays in a matter of days – this forum is but one example. We hope this critical practice will endure long after Haiti is re-built. — Michael Ralph, editor”

Read the rest: Social Text: Periscope: Ayiti Kraze / Haiti in Fragments Archives.

SSRC Forum: Haiti, Now and Next

“Haiti is an alarming reminder that natural disasters have more devastating consequences where physical infrastructure is weak, where institutions are problematic, and where there is a lot of poverty. So trying to foster development is also a response to disaster. How humanitarian assistance is administered may make it more or less conducive to longer term development, may make a transition from one set of actors (emergency responders) to another (development aid agencies) go more smoothly, may lead to better preparedness for the next time.

The SSRC has asked people we believe are deeply reflective about the situation in Haiti to share their thoughts about the present moment and its relationship to humanitarian assistance and transitions to development. This collection of postings is the result of that effort.”

Find it here: Haiti, Now and Next — Social Science Research Council.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: When Is Disaster Intolerable?
by Craig Calhoun
Beyond the Earthquake: A Wake-Up Call for Haiti
by Alex Dupuy
Country, City, Service
by Ferentz Lafargue
Cracks of Gender Inequality: Haitian Women After the Earthquake
By Régine Michelle Jean-Charles
Haiti Update
by William O’Neill
Haiti and the International System: The Need for New Organizational Lending Formats
by Saskia Sassen
Haiti: Can Catastrophe Spur Progress?
by William O’Neill
Mobilize the Diaspora for the Reconstruction of Haiti
by Dilip Ratha
Hope Admist Devastation: Towards a New Haitian State
by Robert Fatton Jr.
Haiti’s Earthquake and the Politics of Distribution
by Andrew Apter
Moving Beyond Disaster to Build a Durable Future in Haiti
by Greg Beckett
Haiti and the Unseen World
By Elizabeth McAlister
Rebuilding Haiti: The Next Two Hundred Years
by J. Michael Dash
Reckoning in Haiti
by Jean Casimir and Laurent Dubois
Run From the Earthquake, Fall Into the Abyss: A Léogane Paradox
by Karen Richman
Rebuilding Haiti, Rebuilding the Fragile State Framework
By Yasmine Shamsie

FIU’s Hope for Haiti Seeks Creole speakers/interpreters

“Florida International University is creating a database of fluent Haitian Creole speakers willing to volunteer their time to help with a number of ongoing efforts to support South Florida’s Haitian community in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

Interpreters are needed right away to assist the College of Law’s Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic as it helps Haitian immigrants apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). FIU also is responding to a number of requests from its community partners who need Creole interpreters.

Anyone interested in volunteering, please fill out the form below. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the South Florida community are welcome to apply.”

See:  Hope for Haiti – Florida International University (FIU).

Debating the Future of Haiti

1) Sir Hilary Beckles “The hate and the quake”

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/print?id=161585871

2) Response to Beckles by Anthony Wilson “Blame Haiti’s Politicians”:

http://guardian.co.tt/commentary/columnist/2010/01/24/blame-haiti-s-politici

ans

3) Message to the Montreal Conference on Haitian Relief by Norman
Girvanhttp://www.normangirvan.info/message-to-the-montreal-conference-on-hai
tian-relief/

Portugal Omits Slave History–Sign the Petition

The petition in English, French and Portuguese, can be found below and is available for signing here:  http://www.petitiononline.com/port2009/petition.html

For more information contact:

Ana Lucia Araujo
Assistant Professor
Howard University
Department of History
Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall
2441 6th Street N.W.
Room 302
Washington D.C.
United States
20059

* * *

[French Follows]

The contest « The Seven Portuguese Wonders » ignores the history of
slavery and the slave trade

About twenty years ago several European, American and African
countries started affirming and promoting the painful memory and
heritage of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. The promotion of the
slave past was translated not only by the publication of a large
number of historical works but also by the development of projects as
the Slave Route Project launched by UNESCO in 1994.

Over the last ten years, despite the difficulties and the fights
involving the emergence of the memory of the slave past of European,
American and African nations, the memory and the history of the
Atlantic slave trade was integrated into the public memory of several
countries in the three continents at both sides of the Atlantic. In
2001, through the Law Taubira, France was the first country to
recognize slavery and the slave trade as crimes against humanity. Also
in France, the May 10th is now the National Day of Commemoration of
the Memories of the Slave Trade, Slavery and its Abolitions ». In
2001, in Durban, South Africa, the Third Conference of the United
Nations Against Racism declared slavery as « crime against humanity ».
In 1992, at the House of Slaves in Gorée Island (Senegal), the Pope
John Paul II expressed his apologies for the role played by the
Catholic Church in the period of the Atlantic slave trade. Visiting
Africa, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and the Brazilian President, Luis
Inácio Lula da Silva also condemned the wrongs of the slave past. In
2006, Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, during a visit to
Elmina Castle (a site participating in the contest) in Ghana,
denounced the Atlantic slavery past. In 2007, during the
commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the British abolition of
the slave trade, the PM Tony Blair also expressed his deep sorrow for
the role played by England in the Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans.

In 2009, the government of Portugal, and several Portuguese
institutions as the University of Coimbra, chose the opposite path.
During the first semester of this same year, these institutions
supported the organization of a contest to choose the Seven Portuguese
Wonders in the World. In the list of the sites to be voted by the
public on Internet (http://www.7maravilhas.sapo.pt), one can found not
only Elmina Castle (or Castle São Jorge da Mina), a slave trading
outpost and warehouse, founded by the Portuguese in 1482, but also the
old city of Ribeira Grande of Santiago Island in Cape Verde, as well
as Luanda and Mozambique Island. When describing these sites, the
organization of the contest omitted the history of these places and
the use they had during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. In the
text describing the Elmina Castle, they affirm that this site served
as slaves warehouse only after the Dutch occupation in1637.

In the name of historical accuracy and in order to be morally
responsible, we consider that the inclusion of these « monuments » in
such a contest should be followed by the full information about their
role during the Atlantic slave trade, and also by an explanation about
the present use of these sites. Presently, the Elmina or São Jorge da
Mina Castle, is a museum that tries to represent the history of the
Atlantic slave trade. Each year, thousands of visitors from the whole
world, among them many members of the African Diaspora, visit the
castle to honor their ancestors. The Portuguese government, the
institutions supporting the contest and its organizers ignored the
pain of all those whose ancestors were deported from these sites or
those who were raped or died there while waiting to be embarked. Is it
possible to separate the architecture of these sites from the role
they had in the past and still have in the present, as places of
memory of the great tragedy that was slavery and the slave trade to
the European colonies? According to recent studies
(www.slavevoyages.org), Portugal and later Brazil, its former colony,
were responsible for almost the half of the 12 million captives
transported through the Atlantic.

In respect to the history and the memory of millions of victims of the
Atlantic slave trade, we write this letter to denounce the omission of
the role these sites had in the Atlantic slave trade. We invite all
those who are concerned by the research on slavery and the Atlantic
slave trade to disagree with the attempt to diminish and erase the
history of this commerce, in order to exalt a glorious Portuguese past
expressed in the architectural « beauty » of these sites of death and
tragedy.

Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University, Washington, United States
Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, CHAM, Lisboa, Portugal
Mariana Pinho Candido, Princeton University, Princeton, United States
Michel Cahen, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Christine Chivallon, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Myriam Cottias, CNRS, Directrice do Centre International de recherches
sur les esclavages, Paris, France
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University, Washington, United States
Hendrik Kraay, University of Calgary, Canada
Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States
Jean-Marc Masseaut, Cahiers Anneaux de la Mémoire, Nantes, France
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Claudia Mosquera Rosero-Labbé, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogotá, Colombia
João José Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil
Anna Seiderer, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
Simão Souindola, Historien, Luanda, Angola
Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali, Howard University, Washington, United States

* * *
[Portuguese Follows]

Le concours « Les 7 merveilles portugaises » ignore l’histoire de
l’esclavage et de la traite transatlantique

Il y a environ vingt ans, plusieurs pays européens, américains et
africains, ont commencé à affirmer la mémoire douloureuse de la traite
des Africains mis en esclavage aux Amériques et à mettre en valeur le
patrimoine qui lui est lié. Cette mise en valeur fut traduite non
seulement par la publication d’un grand nombre d’ouvrages
historiographiques mais s’exprima aussi par la mis en œuvre de projets
comme La Route de l’Esclave initié par l’UNESCO en 1994.

Malgré les difficultés et les luttes ayant entouré l’émergence de la
mémoire du passé esclavagiste des nations européennes, américaines et
africaines, depuis dix ans, la mémoire et l’histoire de la traite
atlantique ont commencé à intégrer la mémoire publique de plusieurs
pays dans les trois continents entourant l’Atlantique. En 2001, par la
loi Taubira, la France fut le premier pays à reconnaître l’esclavage
et la traite atlantique des esclaves comme crime contre l’humanité.
Aussi en France, le 10 mai est désormais « Journée Nationale de
Commémoration des Mémoires de la traite négrière, de l’esclavage et de
ses abolitions ». En 2001, à Durban en Afrique du Sud, la Troisième
Conférence de l’ONU contre le racisme a inscrit dans ses déclarations
finales l’esclavage en tant que « crime contre l’humanité ». En 1992,
à la Maison des esclaves dans l’Île de Gorée au Sénégal, le Pape
Jean-Paul II a formulé des excuses pour le rôle joué par l’Église
Catholique dans la traite transatlantique. En visite en Afrique, Bill
Clinton, George W. Bush et le Président du Brésil Luis Inácio Lula da
Silva, ont condamné les erreurs du passé esclavagiste. En 2006,
Michaelle Jean, gouverneure générale du Canada, en visite au Fort
Elmina (site qui fait partie du concours) au Ghana a dénoncé le passé
esclavagiste. En 2007, pendant les commémorations de l’anniversaire de
deux-cents ans de l’abolition de la traite britannique, Tony Blair a
exprimé son profond regret par le rôle joué par la Grande-Bretagne
dans le commerce atlantique d’Africains mis en esclavage.

En 2009, le gouvernement du Portugal e plusieurs institutions
portugaises dont l’Université de Coimbra, ont choisi le chemin opposé
à celui qui vient d’être décrit. Au cours du premier semestre de cette
même année, ces institutions ont appuyé la réalisation d’un concours
en vue de choisir les Sept Merveilles Portugaises dans le Monde. Dans
la liste des sites des merveilles à être élues par le public sur
Internet (http://www.7maravilhas.sapo.pt), on y trouve non seulement
le Fort São Jorge da Mina (ou Elmina) entrepôt commercial fondé par
les Portugais en 1482, mais aussi la Vieille Ville (Ribeira Grande),
Île de Santiago au Cap Vert, ainsi que Luanda et l’Île de Mozambique.
En décrivant ces sites, l’organisation du concours a omis de s’en
remettre à l’histoire et de signaler l’usage qu’avaient ces lieux
pendant le commerce atlantique des esclaves. Dans le texte décrivant
le Fort Elmina, on y affirme que ce site fut l’entrepôt d’esclaves
seulement après l’occupation hollandaise du site, à partir de 1637.

Pour être fidèles à l’histoire et moralement responsables, nous
considérons que l’inclusion de ces « monuments » dans un tel concours
devrait être accompagnée d’informations complètes sur leur rôle dans
le commerce atlantique, de même que sur son usage présent. Le Fort de
São Jorge da Mina ou Elmina, par exemple, est aujourd’hui un musée qui
essaie de représenter l’histoire du commerce atlantique. Il s’agit
d’un lieu visité par des milliers de touristes du monde entier, parmi
lesquels plusieurs représentants de la diaspora africaine qui
cherchent à y rendre hommage à leurs ancêtres. Le gouvernement
portugais, les institutions qui appuient le concours et ses
organisateurs ignorent la douleur de ceux dont les ancêtres furent
déportés à partir de ces entrepôts commerciaux ou sont décédés sur
place. Est-il possible d’envisager de séparer l’architecture de ces
sites du rôle qu’ils ont eu dans le passé et qu’ils atlantique et
l’esclavage des Africains dans les colonies européennes ? D’après des
estimations récentes (www.slavevoyages.org), le Portugal, et plus tard
son ex-colonie, le Brésil, furent ensemble responsables pour presque
la moitié des 12 millions de captifs transportés par l’Atlantique.

Par respect face à l’histoire et à la mémoire des millions de victimes
de la traite atlantique des esclaves, nous venons par la présente
dénoncer l’omission du rôle qui ont eu ces lieux dans le commerce
atlantique d’Africains mis en esclavage. Nous invitons tous ceux et
celles qui sont concernés par la recherche sur le commerce atlantique
des esclaves et sur l’esclavage à manifester leur désaccord avec le
fait que l’histoire de ce commerce soit banalisée et effacé au profit
de l’exaltation d’un passé portugais glorieux exprimé dans la « beauté
» architecturale de tels sites de tragédie.

Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University, Washington, États-Unis
Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, CHAM, Lisboa, Portugal
Mariana Pinho Candido, Princeton University, Princeton, États-Unis
Michel Cahen, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Christine Chivallon, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique Noire, CNRS, Bordeaux, France
Myriam Cottias, CNRS, Directrice do Centre International de recherches
sur les esclavages, Paris, France
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University, Washington, États-Unis
Hendrik Kraay, University of Calgary, Canada
Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, États-Unis
Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali, Howard University, Washington, États-Unis
Jean-Marc Masseaut, Anneaux de la Mémoire, Nantes, France
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brésil
Claudia Mosquera Rosero-Labbé, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogotá, Colombia
João José Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brésil
Anna Seiderer, Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervure, Belgique
Simão Souindola, Historien, Luanda, Angola

* * *

O concurso As 7 maravilhas portuguesas no mundo ignora a história da
escravidão e do tráfico atlântico

Há mais ou menos vinte anos, vários países europeus, americanos e
africanos vêm afirmando a memória dolorosa do comércio de africanos
escravizados e valorizando o patrimônio que lhe é associado. Essa
valorização se traduziu não somente na publicação de um grande número
de obras historiográficas, mas também se expressou na realização de
projetos como A Rota do Escravo iniciado pela UNESCO em 1994.

Apesar das dificuldades e das lutas políticas que envolveram a
emergência da memória do passado escravista das nações europeias,
americanas e africanas, de dez anos para cá a memória e a história do
comércio atlântico passaram a fazer parte da memória pública de muitos
países nos três continentes circundando o Atlântico. Em 2001, através
da Lei Taubira, a França foi o primeiro país a reconhecer a escravidão
e o tráfico atlântico como crimes contra a humanidade. Também na
França, o 10 de Maio é doravante “dia nacional de comemoração das
memórias do tráfico negreiro, da escravatura e das suas abolições”. Em
2001, em Durban na África do Sul, a Terceira Conferência da ONU contra
o racismo inscreveu em suas declarações finais a escravidão como
“crime contra a humanidade”. Em 1992, na Casa dos Escravos na Ilha de
Gorée no Senegal, o Papa João Paulo II expressou suas desculpas pelo
papel desempenhado pela Igreja Católica durante o tráfico atlântico.
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, e o próprio Presidente do Brasil, Luis
Inácio Lula da Silva, condenaram publicamente a participação passada
de seus países no comércio atlântico de africanos escravizados. Em
2006, Michaelle Jean, governadora geral do Canadá, escolheu o Castelo
de Elmina em Gana para denunciar passado escravista. Em 2007, durante
as comemorações do aniversário de duzentos anos da abolição do tráfico
de escravos pela Inglaterra, foi a vez do ministro Tony Blair
expressar publicamente seu profundo pesar pelo papel da Grã-Bretanha
no comércio de africanos escravizados.

Em pleno ano de 2009, o governo de Portugal e instituições portuguesas
como a Universidade de Coimbra, escolheram um caminho oposto ao
descrito acima. No primeiro semestre desse ano essas instituições
apoiaram a realização de um concurso para escolher as Sete Maravilhas
Portuguesas no Mundo. Na lista das Sete Maravilhas a serem votadas
pelo público na internet (http://www.7maravilhas.sapo.pt), constam não
somente o Castelo São Jorge da Mina (Elmina), entreposto comercial
fundado pelos portugueses em 1482, mas também a Cidade Velha (Ribeira
Grande) na Ilha de Santiago em Cabo Verde, além de Luanda e da Ilha de
Moçambique. Ao descrever esses sítios, a organização do concurso optou
por omitir o uso desses lugares para o comércio de escravos. No texto
descrevendo o Castelo São Jorge da Mina ou Elmina chegou-se ao cúmulo
de afirmar que aquele local foi entreposto de escravos somente a
partir da ocupação holandesa em 1637.

Para ser fiel à história e moralmente responsável, consideramos que a
inclusão desses “monumentos” no dito concurso deveria ser acompanhada
de informações completas sobre o papel deles no tráfico atlântico,
assim como sobre seu uso atual. O Castelo de São Jorge da Mina ou
Elmina, por exemplo, é hoje um museu que tenta retratar a história do
tráfico. Trata-se de um lugar visitado por milhares de turistas de
todo o mundo, entre os quais muitos representantes da diáspora
africana que buscam ali prestar homenagem a seus ancestrais. O governo
português, as instituições que apóiam o concurso e sua organização
ignoraram a dor daqueles que tiveram seus antepassados deportados
desses entrepostos comerciais e muitas vezes ali mortos. Seria
possível desvincular a arquitetura dessas construções do papel que
elas tiveram no passado e que ainda têm no presente enquanto lugares
de memória da imensa tragédia que representou o tráfico transatlântico
e a escravidão africana nas colônias européias ? Segundo as
estimativas mais recentes (www.slavevoyages.org), Portugal e
posteriormente sua ex-colônia, o Brasil, foram juntos responsáveis por
quase a metade dos 12 milhões de cativos transportados através do
Atlântico.

Em respeito à história e à memória dos milhões de vítimas do tráfico
atlântico de escravos, viemos através desta carta aberta repudiar a
omissão do papel que tiveram esses lugares no comércio atlântico de
africanos escravizados. Convidamos todos aqueles que têm um
compromisso com a pesquisa do tráfico atlântico de escravos e da
escravidão a repudiar que essa história seja banalizada e apagada em
prol da exaltação de um passado português glorioso expresso na suposta
“beleza” arquitetural de tais sítios de morte e tragédia.

Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University, Washington DC, Estados Unidos
Arlindo Manuel Caldeira, professor, Centro de História de Além-Mar,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Mariana Pinho Candido, Princeton University, Princeton, Estados Unidos
Michel Cahen, CNRS, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique, Bordeaux, França
Christine Chivallon, CNRS, Centre d’Études de l’Afrique, Bordeaux, França
Myriam Cottias, CNRS, Diretora do Centre International de recherches
sur les esclavages, Paris, França
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University, Washington, Estados Unidos
Hendrik Kraay, University of Calgary, Canadá
Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Estados Unidos
Jean-Marc Masseaut, Cahiers Anneaux de la Mémoire, Nantes, França
Claudia Mosquera Rosero-Labbé, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogotá, Colombia
João José Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brasil
Anna Seiderer, Museu Real da África Central, Tervuren, Bélgica
Simão Souindola, Historiador, Luanda, Angola
Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali, Howard University, Washington, Estados Unidos