Haitians Rebuilding and Reconstructing Lives: Two Years After the Earthquake

TransAfrica at Busboys and Poets: The Cabral/Truth Circle

Film/Book Discussion on Africa and the African Diaspora

Monday, April 2, 2012, 6:00-8:00pm

Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW (14th and V Streets), Washington,DC


“If we are going to forge a 21st century movement for peace and justice, we must first understand the plight of our brethren around the world. The Cabral/Truth Circles are designed to educate and then motivate our community to take action against tyranny, racism, and all forms of war.”

                                                                              --Nicole Lee, President, TransAfrica

The Cabral/Truth Circle is a combination of a great film festival and an exciting book club that focuses on the history and political movements of Africa and the African Diaspora. The Circle, named after Amilcar Cabral and Sojourner Truth, focuses on the history and political movements of Africa and the African Diaspora through a film screening and highlighting of a complementary book.  Every other month, TransAfrica Forum shows a short documentary and hosts a discussion linking history and current affairs, and encouraging individual and collective activism.


The Cabral/Truth Circle on April 2 will focus on efforts by Haitians in reclaiming their lives and reconstructing the country’s infrastructure following the January 12, 2010 earthquake.  Much has been written in the international community about the efforts of outsiders in supporting Haiti rebuild but little on the local initiatives.  But there has been scarce analysis of destructive nature of policies from international financial institutions and their backers and international NGOs on Haiti.  The event features a sneak peak at the film Broken Stones by Guetty Felin and the complimentary book: Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake Edited by Mark Schuller, Pablo Morales.


Panelists includeManolia Charlotin, The Haitian Times; Etant Dupain, Director of Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye (Noise Travels News Spreads); Guetty Felin, Director of the film Broken Stones.


Film: Broken Stones by Guetty Felin.  Destroyed in the devastating earthquake that brought the capital of Haiti to its knees on January 12, 2010, the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince was one of the most important and symbolic edifices in the entire country. It is in the neighborhood of the Cathedral that the city of Port-au-Prince was founded in 1749 and in the old cathedral, on that same square, that one of the main leaders of the Haitian revolution Jean Jacques Dessallines was crowned emperor of Haiti in 1804.  This one hour poetic documentary is a cinematic metaphor on the reconstruction of the Haitian self.  "Those broken stones are an allegory of the Haitian soul, which suffered an unbearable shock on January 12." Pierre Clitandre, Haitian writer and Painter. (Description fromhttp://bellemoonproductions.com/films.htm)


Book featured: Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake Edited by Mark Schuller, Pablo Morales (2012, Kumarian Press) (available for purchase at Busboys and Poets) Publisher's Description: The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti’s capital on January 12, 2010 will be remembered as one of the world’s deadliest disasters. The earthquake was a tragedy that gripped the nation—and the world. But as a disaster it also magnified the social ills that have beset this island nation that sits squarely in the United States’ diplomatic and geopolitical shadow. The quake exposed centuries of underdevelopment, misguided economic policies, and foreign aid interventions that have contributed to rampant inequality and social exclusion in Haiti.

Tectonic Shifts offers a diverse on-the-ground set of perspectives about Haiti’s cataclysmic earthquake and the aftermath that left more than 1.5 million individuals homeless. Following a critical analysis of Haiti’s heightened vulnerability as a result of centuries of foreign policy and most recently neoliberal economic policies, this book addresses a range of contemporary realities, foreign impositions, and political changes that occurred during the relief and reconstruction periods. 

Analysis of these realities offers tools for engaged, principled reflection and action. Essays by scholars, journalists, activists, and Haitians still on the island and those in the Diaspora highlight the many struggles that the Haitian people face today, providing lessons not only for those impacted and involved in relief, but for people engaged in struggles for justice and transformation in other parts of the world.


For more information: 202.223.1960 ext. 137 or emailmmunthali@transafrica.org.

The Cabral/Truth Circle is named in honor of Amilcar Cabral and Sojourner Truth. Amilcar Cabral was one of Africa's most successful and thoughtful leaders. He led the anti-colonialism movement in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. Sojourner Truth petitioned the government and won back her five-year-old son who had been sold illegally. She spent the rest of her days traveling throughout the country encouraging the debate to end slavery and the creation of a peaceful society.

The venue is Busboys and Poets, one of the most exciting establishments in the Washington area. Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bookstore and gathering place for people who believe that social justice and peace are attainable goals. Admission is free, but space is limited. We encourage you to have dinner with us and change the world.