Report on 2011 International Year part 5: Haiti’s Poetics of Pain and Resilience

Haiti in the aftermath of 2010's massive earthquake. (photo by Juan Barreto AFP Getty Images)


Throughout Black History Month 2011, websites and newspapers based in countries across the globe have featured stories on the United Nations’ and the Organization of American States’ passage of Resolution 64/169, which declared January 1 as the start of the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent. During the launch for the year in December, the “Representative for the December 12th Movement” described Haiti as a country which: “represents a microcosm of the situation, both victories and defeats, facing people of African descent. As goes Haiti, so goes people of African descent.”

Some might challenge the accuracy of that statement but few would debate the urgency of Haiti’s ongoing dire conditions. At this point, the primary push in the country is to recover not only from the earthquake of 2010, but as U.N. General Secretary Ki-Moon noted, from the cholera epidemic which followed and claimed another 3,300 lives. Moreover, hurricane Tomas took its toll on the island-nation as well. Aside for the actual loss of lives, more than a million people in the capital of Port-au-Prince were displaced and they still are. That number represents approximately one third of the city’s pre-earthquake population.

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by Aberjhani

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