A Creative Essay by Lahiny Pierre
The idea of using video footage as factual additive to the creative essay took me out of my comfort zone. Even while engaged in the process of documenting through the written word, I was concerned to not cross the lines between the traditional documentary and the extremes of a creative essay.
The subject of “problems” in Haiti is not novel; it is only the recent earthquake of January 12, 2010 that has reiterated to the world Haiti’s handicaps and its proximity to Western wealth. To the logical spectators, it doesn’t make sense that Haiti is so poor yet fuels the wealth of it’s neighborhood super power countries. How? That is a matter for demonstration and that is why this creative essay serves as outlet, to encourage debates that bring about some answers, and work. The interviewees who participated in the making of Haiti on Demand, are knowledgeable on the topic of “Haiti Problems”, a wide range of testimonies to include those who suffer the daily toils, the university students, the grassroots workers, the professionals and or individuals, who have acquired first person knowledge of Haiti by visiting and or through civic engagements.
This creative essay is divided into ten parts: Each part is to be read along with the video clip, video youtube address is listed on the cover page. The format is certainly nonconventional, the clips will demonstrate I am not a professional videographer, secondly, as I have deliberately chosen not to capitalize the names of certain institutions as required by conventions of literary canon. The title of this creative essay, Haiti on Demand, is also misleading with intent. But it is that very same “dismissal with intent”, which gives the title ground for truth. One is never quite sure what the demands are inside Haiti, especially when it comes to finding explanation for the influx of foreign workers in the country and secondly the circulation of money between the countries involved in the occupation of Haiti. We can see outside involvement is deep and numerous to maintain the occupation of Haiti, an infrastructure governed and maintained by foreign social, financial, and governmental institutions, thus, the rising trend of Haiti on Demand. This creative essay also gives the Haitian, under occupation, a chance to speak in the first person point of view; it gives the world access to direct information.
The Haitian has never known peace!
The people see a truck. They guess it’s an NGO (ONG) donation freebies truck, (a government cheese truck). They go and look into the truck, my friends; they find a truck full of dead bodies. Bullets start flying! Some got shot in the head. Some got shot in the stomach. Some got shot in the vagina. Some got shot in the penis. Some got shot down below, below, below, below.
Cadavers In Our Streets: Our Entire life-Span Tattooed With Bite Marks!
So many dead bodies in the streets and it’s bright-mid-day-light
Dead bodies are in the streets
Dead bodies are in the waters
Foumi domi lévé nan rěv nou-the ants sleep and wake-up in our dreams
Tout vi nou sé mak modé-our entire life-span is tattooed with bite marks
Problems! Problems! Problems!
They are like the spider’s web making their way up inside our anus.
Ancient Habitation: South West Haiti: The Cayo Family Annual Vodou Service
On the day of this recording, my partners (Godson Dely and Roland Vincent) and I were traveling the South West countryside region of Haiti, the zone known as Pass Divinwa (Black Deity River). Historically this river is known for its strong currents, travelers like me, have to cross it to reach the mountains and the valleys of Jacmel. We were travelling on motor bikes that crashed about one mile away, let’s say four river beds away. I barely escaped without injury. Godson Dely literally picked me and threw me off the bike. Luckily I had some sense to use the machete I was carrying as anchor, and that’s what saved my left leg. I dug the machete into the soil with my right hand, made a successful leap to safety, and landed into a huge plantain field on the side of the road of the La Grosse Line River. Roland wanted to stay with the bike, Godson and I decided to continue the road on foot. That’s when I heard the Yanvalou rhythm, grinding above the sound of the flowing river, “Pim pi di pip pip.” I turned around and said to Godson, “There’s a celebration in town. Do you hear the boiling sound of the drum?” Godson Dely turned to me in pure silence, he didn’t speak while his ears searched, then he smiled and said, “Do you know that I have not yet drummed the traditional Jacmel mountain Vodou ceremony? Lahiny that sound is far different than your stage dramatization.” We laughed with renewed energy and followed the sound of the drums.
Before crossing the river, I asked a woman passerby, “Who is having this big celebration in town?” She answered, “It’s the Cayo Family Annual Ceremony for this time of the year.” I turned to Godson again, “This is your lucky day. I am a member of the Cayo family.” He smiled, “Yo baz we celebrate tonight!”
The performance on the clip, was dedicated to my arrival. They then played an Ochan, meaning a salutatory welcome for a person of status. In my case, the Cayo family is a direct line of powerful Priests, since the times of our original existence on the African continent. I humbly accepted the honors presented to me.
Musical Performance: Instrument Drums: Yanvalou Rhyhm: Song: Spiritual Vodou
We are here Dambalah Wedo, our lives are placed in the hands of God
Voice and Picture of Theodore Beaubrun Jr.
We have crossed humanity’s barriers for some time now….
The interview with Theodore Beaubrun and Mimerose Beaubrun was one of the most exciting part of the trip. I arrived in Haiti just in time for hurricane Toma, November of 2010. When I contacted Theodore Beaubrun, AKA, Lolo, he informed me he was leaving soon to tour in Guadeloupe, Lolo, along with his wife Mimerose Beaubrun, are the leaders of one of the most celebrated roots music band around the world, Boukman Eksperyans. He had been waiting on the hurricane to subside, to allow him passage to leave the country. There was no electricity, despite that challenge, I believed their message was worth filming.
The second challenge happened on the day of the interview, I stopped in Petionville to visit with some friends. Five minutes after sitting at their table, the spirit of Gédé mounted one of the women and did not leave till the night was birthed to daylight.
I called Lolo and told him of the situation. “The ancestors have come to pay homage”, I told him. “What should I do?” I asked. He was brave and kind enough to say, “Bring the spirits with you.” We packed two cars full with friends and spirits, then headed to Lolo’s house.
List of Recent United Nations Crime Against Haitians
BAT CHAL BARI NAN DEYE MINUSTAH
Bat Chal Bari is as ancient as the original people of the world. It is a common form of protest used by the people and their basic possessions as ways of making noise, their voices, pots and pans, sticks, tin cans… to make noise to drive away any harmful presence in the community. Twenty First Century demonstration of Bat Chal Bari is commonly used by the people of Haiti, the indigenous people of Latin America, we also see its usage by prisoners.
-Any of those victims mentioned here could be your child, your sister, your brother or one of your parents.
-On February 18, 2005, 3 Pakistani agents based in the minustah camp in Gonaives RAPED Nadege Nicolas!
-On March 20th, 2005 minustah gang members killed journalist Robenson Laraque of Tele Kontak Radio in the Ti Goave zone, this incident happened while minustah agents were conducting the move to relocate the former Ti Goave Police Commissariat.
-On November 6, 2005, near Kalfou Twa Min, near Sonapi, on the Airport Road, a minustah pedophile forced Marie Rose Preceus to perform fellatio on him, he then perforated her rectum with his instrument, in the middle of street.
-In December of 2006, minustah shot on Stephane Durogenes, a third year student at the Centre De Formation Classique et Economique, he received a bullet in his left eye, while he was walking passed the police commissariat in zone Delmas 62.
-On May 29, 2008, a few demented minustah agents ganged up on Linice Jacques to sexually molest him. He is a Haitian police officer, member of the commissariat in zone Cite Soleil.
-On August 6, 2008, minustah soldiers beat to pulpit 2 Haitian police officers, Donson Bien-Aime agent 2 and Ronald Denis agent 3. They are both affected at the commissariat in zone Cite Soleil, they testify that they were beaten after having clearly identifying themselves as police officers.
-On August 18, 2016, they found 1 minor who is 16 years old, named Gerald Jean Gilles, who is without a mother and who is without a father, he had been lynched-hung-on an almond tree, inside the Nepalese minustah base, in the zone Carenage in Au Cap-Haïtien. This young man used to work and run errands for the minustah soldiers at the Nepalese base.
-In mid October, the community members of the zone Mirebalais caught red handed Nepalese soldiers, minustah force, in the act of propagating the cholera epidemic that has invaded the entire country, that has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims, and thousands of people have lost their lives.
-They filmed the Nepalese minustah force, while they were dumping their toxic waste, the defecation of occupation, in the rivers, Meille, Boukan Kanni, and Jamba. All these 3 rivers converge into the Fleuve Artibonite, the country’s biggest and longest body of sweet water.
-This cholera epidemic has been spreading the terrains of Haiti like wild fire on dried twigs. Numerous scientist have testified, and they have agreed that according to the results of studies, research, tests, and trials they have conducted, the strand vibrio cholerae have no origin in Haiti. The strand vibrio cholerae is from the continent Asia; it originated in an Asiatic country.
-I am forced to think, why is it that the United Nations has chosen to disperse all of the contaminated countries inside Haiti? It leads me to deduce that the United Nation is transforming Haiti into a huge laboratory to contain and to manage the severity of another episode like that of the 7th pandemic of 1991 that invaded Peru with the vibrio cholerae strand that originated in Asia, now found inside Haiti, thanks to the occupation.
-On May 12, 2011, minustah soldiers gave Gena Wilderson 2 bullets, while the university students from Lycee College Jacques Stephen Alexis, held a demonstration advocating the return of their university professors who had been fired. Gena Wilderson was a 7th year student at the level of fundamental studies, from College Centre de Formation Classique, this incident happened in the zone Verrette.
-On July 28th, while walking home from a soccer match, and while nearing the battalion of the navatas group, the minustah base of the Uruguayan forces, not far from his home, a soldier name Colke assaulted and dragged Johnny Jean by the collar; the soldier dragged him by force into the minustah base.
-Johnny Jean was taken into a small room, inside the occupying force base, where other lusting minustah soldiers, were naked and waiting. Minustah killer soldier Leo and Nicolas Casarego, called on to Rodriguez who was butt naked, coming out of the shower, he pinned Johnny Jean to a mattress, he plunged his penis inside Johnny Jean’s rectum. He was the first soldier to raped the victim.
-This crime is perverse, it’s immoral, it’s degrading, it’s humiliating, it went to another level. The occupying force filmed the crime, broad-casted the crime all over the Internet, and shared the crime with all of the other members of the Uruguayan armed forces. They shared with the world this violent act of free brutality, they exhibited scenes so violent, so macabre, so sadistic and so chocking, the most shocking of scenes they couldn’t even show to the public.
-In Port-Salut, the occupying forces have ruined all the minors and involved them in prostitution. They have put in place in a sexual practice they call, “Cambiar”, where bags of rice, small boxes of beans and preserves are exchanged for vagina, liquor, and cigarettes.
Haitians Protest Against United Nations’ Murderous Squad 9/19/2012
Chant: Hey Hey Ban Ki Moon! Haiti is not for Sale!
Haitians gather in front of the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, to protest crimes against Haitians COMMITTED by the invading forces, their armies, and their agents, crimes against the people of Haiti, specifically on that day: THE RAPE OF JOHNNY JEAN.
Profiles of Workers:
Jessica Donnette, Sudent (in English view clip)
Clearview Church, Georgia (in English View clip)
Sadhana Forest, Haiti
My name is Sam Eliene, I am from France from a community that works here in Anse a Pitre. We are doing reforestation in the forest; we believe with the forest we can feed all of Anse a Pitre, there are a lot of projects around that. I came here to build solar panels, we also recycle pieces of glass and metal, and use them to boil water and to cook, all of that we provide free of charge. We are not a non government organization but a private community from India, based on reforestation, we are called Sadanah Forest Haiti. We have just gotten started, only two-to-three- months ago, but in India the program has already been developed. This is not to provide jobs but to teach farming techniques, mainly to establish autonomy between the Haitian and food. We try to bring techniques like composting, or what we call Permaculture, to nourish the earth to allow crops to grow. The Haitian is so very much alive, it feels good to be in the presence of such folks where as in Europe, the people are more sad. I’ts a pleasure, so I am very happy to be here, to be able to do that.
The Military Personnel (in English view clip)
Royal Palm Children’s Home and Academy of Haiti (in English view clip)
Fanm Viktim Koperatif: Women Victim of Corporations
Fanm Viktim Koperatif, is a movement of women that has been fighting for the economic rights of women. Some of you may know that in 2002, a lot of people lost money in the corporations, among those people were a majority of women. We put our heads together with other groups of women, we decided to advocate our rights. That’s what we did; without complex and despite all the difficulties that came along, when we got to the courts, we campaigned a major political and juridic fight. In the post-earthquake era, after January 12th, we have been working with the children who are victims, others who are victims as a result of the earthquake and some political activities. We are accentuating more on the social work, on building our community, and we contribute what we can; that’s why we support many other women groups and we contribute in the fight to change lives in our country.
Christian Fellowship Mission, inc. (in English view clip)
Minouche Lambert, Komite Citwayen Protege Pep Ayisyen (Committee of Citizens Protecting the Haitian People)
My name is Minouche Lambert, I am a member of a committee in the states, called Komite Citwayen Protegé Pep Ayisyen (Committee of Citizens Protecting the Haitian People), we are already up to our fourth demonstration, we are asking the minustah forces to leave Haiti. On August 5th, recently, we held another rally, where we brought out more than 4,000 people. We even had people come from France, and from all over they came and gathered, we were there from 9am till 7pm that night. The conditions that brought us here, we bring our contribution to show support for the entire population of Haiti, not just for Johnny Jean because Johnny Jean is not the only victim in Haiti, but to show support to all the victims, and we are asking the minustah to leave and depart from the country because occupation is a crime. When one is under occupation, with people invading from numerous places, outsiders who invade inside our country with bad culture and negative mannerisms that never belonged to our nation, they bring corruption in our country. Today the people are asking minustah to return to its own home.
My City is Dead!
This filming takes place in the zone Lalue, courtesy of the owners and managers of the restaurant, Muncheez, in Port-au-Prince, on January of 2010, at a fund-raising event held by, Organizing for Haiti-OFH (https://www.facebook.com/groups/organizingforhaiti). The fundraiser was to reinstate the people’s bread at the original minimal price of 15 cents. The actors are Henri Claude and Jimmy Joseph, professionally trained actors from the national school of arts,Ecole Naitonale des Arts ENARTS.
My city is dead
Without escape from the grayish night
Or from the wind
My city for recreation
as a pass time
Invents words that end in T-I-O-N:
The Haitian Family Experience: Values vs. Morality
Mimerose P. Beaubrun, author of Nan domi, le recit d’une initiation vodou: While Asleep, the Telling of a Vodou Initiation:
-What can I tell the youth? I am always repeating the core message, I tell them, “Love yourself.” To love yourself means to value yourself, to put forth all the talent that you have, all the beautiful qualities that you have, to bring them out so that you can grow, so that you can help, not just help Haiti but humanity can benefit from your talents.
*What can you say to the young people who go to the Dominican Republic, what can you tell the young people who find nothing to nurture their growth in Haiti?
-It is hard, it is truly hard because in Haiti there is nothing for the youth but we must tell the youth that’s not all there is in Haiti. There is more to Haiti than the places where nothing is happening. I remember the words of an American president, that I have always held dear, he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I would like to ask those youths, what are you doing for Haiti? Of course you can go get instructions or other things in the Dominican Republic, but what are you doing for your country?
-What will you do? What are you coming to do for your country?
-What do you want to do for your country?
-And the youth, we must assure that they need to remain proud of their culture, that in itself deserves some work to keep educating them.
-That is the work of education.
-I was just giving you the difference between education and instruction earlier.
-And the things we value come into play, there has been a lot of confusion between what we value.
-Yes what we value. I will give you a short example, when the young people now see an Alfo, a Djakout, (a traditional bag), society has caused the young people to become afraid of it. Society has not explained to the youth the significance and meaning of that item in the culture, to say to the youth, this is your traditional item, its historical context, this is where we store our belongings…
-There are other values too, for example respect, respect is a value. Nowadays society has placed more importance on material things that klink klink, things that shine as if they are the things to value. Then they have forgotten to own respect, it’s important to have internal values. I am not talking about morality. I am simply talking about the things that glue a society together. For example if a society does not uphold respect, respect for one another, you will see a society where the young don’t respect the old, and the old don’t respect the young, a society that is based on very little value. When I talk about respect as a value, that respect goes hand in hand with love. Without love there’s no respect; you can broaden the scope. There are other values like solidarity, that too is a big deal!
-Konbit, the value we invest in cooperative work, that is a big deal
*What do you tell the Haitian woman that holds on and never gives up, who is vending in the street to earn enough money, who works hard to send her children to a faulty education system, what are her roles in the movement to revalue our treasures?
-One of the first things that set society on the edge was its own machismo stance; society became so macho, that it set the woman on a level to do more, to give more. Women began to “double up”, to work double, to try to reach a space next to the man, to bring something, especially something materialistic. The household began to suffer. When a woman leaves early in the morning and returns late, when did she see the child? What did she see the child doing? What did she contribute to the household? The house is abandoned because if there is no woman there is no household. Society has lost its balance that way; you will see the child lost, and and children mustn’t stay lost. I want to ask the women that we organize to do better, I am not asking that you become a woman attached to the household to just eat, because a man can do that too, but i am asking that you be present for your child.
-Another dilemma presents with the children who live in the streets, what type of education are they receiving?
-Well that is a similar case of children in the street, it’s the same child because a child mustn’t be without parenting. Even if the child is not in the streets, It becomes exactly the case of a child growing up in the streets, the mother may not be in the household to receive that child; the mother is not present.
-It becomes like the child lives in the streets.
-It is exactly the street life.
-The household becomes like the street, people are coming in and out, freely.
-A lot of times the mother and the father are working and they leave the child alone for the yard to watch out for the child.
-The parent goes to work at six in the morning and returns back home at eight o’clock in the night time, the parent is tired. There is no time to talk with the child, joke around, and laugh together with the family.
-If the child is in a jam, how will the parents know? The parent will not find out. The parent will not have time to find out.
-There are a lot of things the parent will not know. The parent will not know the child as well.
-The child is made as a person.
-The child is a person.
-How will the parent know the personality inside that child?
-How will the parent know that personality?
-The parent will not know
-They have lost contact with the child.
-There’s no friendship.
-There’s no friendship.
-The child and the parent must laugh, they must joke together. There has to be some things that the child and the parent know about each other. The child must feel free to tell the parent things, when feeling anxiety or when feeling happiness, that they can find the parent and talk about the issue. But if the child cannot find the parent….
-The woman must be in the household. My Haitian women strive for that, because we work hard, a lot. We work hard to afford the faulty education you mentioned earlier, and we don’t receive. Beside, society is always measuring women as if they are nothing.
BREVIL ATELIER: The Bullet Has Been Fired!
This group is called Brevil Atelier: Brevil Theater Ensemble
Live Drumming Performed by Master Percussionist Manno Dely
The bullet has been fired
The bullets hit the head
Bullets hit the stomach
Bullets hit the penis
Bullets hit the vagina
The scream has been shouted
No one has heard it yet
It is coagulated in my throat
The bullet was fired
The bullet went by
It crossed path with four little ones that were studying reciting
“B! A! BA!”
It tore the house walls down
Brought them down mouth first
The bullet has been fired
the bullet hasn’t arrived
Scream invades the air (five times)
The country is without a bra
They have committed rape on her! (2 times)
Peyi ya, en kalam de kalam, mouche pozé sou li
Poto Prin O!
Ou pa grenn adokin
You are not a coin
You must rip!
AYITI PAP PERI! AYITI WILL NOT PERISH!
Grammy Award Nominee Mimerose Beaubrun and Theodore Beaubrun Jr. speak on dreams. Dreams are impenetrable by government agencies like the KGB, or the CIA. Their dreams aren’t able to be intercepted, if the spirit deity Zaka sends him a message, no one but him will receive it.
-Haiti will not perish!
-Even when it comes across as bad omen, it is good news; we have to be the ones to know in each thing, to know how to choose the good within.
-In the moment that I know, you can plug and tap my phone to find out what I am saying in my conversations, but in my dreams, I know that if Zaka comes to see me in my dreams, to bring me me a message, you can’t invade my dreams. There are no organizations in the world, no KGB, no CIA that can know, or that can intercept my dream.
-They can neither trouble your dream, nor undo your dream
-They cannot trouble my dreams or undo them.
-I am strong! The Haitian is strong!
The spirit of the deity Gédé comes on the scene and ends the interviewing session with the traditional salutations hand shakes, maintained and still functioning in the Haitian culture through Vodou practices. `In this case, Vodou has kept alive a customary practice of the original people of the world; this manner of salutation is an example which demonstrates ancient practices as common functions between the Haitian and the African in the Twenty First Century . It also demonstrates Vodou’s usefulness and Vodou’s ability to withstand human terror to serve as a vessel to withhold information. The woman is mounted, she is under the possession of the Gédé spirit, a witness source as old as Death. The interview was also filmed during the November season, an entire month dedicated to the celebration of the spirit of the dead; Gédé is the spirit of the dead.
Haiti On Demand: © 2012 Lahiny Pierre All Rights Reserved