Haitian History, Culture and the Earthquake of 2010
224 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in
- Published: November 2010
The earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 thrust the nation into the public consciousness as never before. There is now an unprecedented empathy for and interest in Haiti, and a related need for information on Haitian reality, beyond the clichés often associated with the nation. In particular, there is a special interest in the earthquake and the questions of Haiti’s future development.
Haiti Rising responds to this public interest and has three fundamental aims: to raise awareness of Haiti, its people, culture and history; to allow some who were in Haiti during the earthquake a chance to testify; and to raise funds for artists living and working in Haiti.
The book brings together more than twenty essays written by some of the most prominent authorities on Haiti, and offers insights on the political, social and historical contexts, as well as the uniquely rich culture of the nation. The first part features survivor testimonies – moving accounts of the earthquake and its aftermath written by authors and academics, Haitian nationals and foreign visitors. The second part presents essays on economics, politics, society and culture (music, religion, visual art), and the ways in which they are interrelated in history and in contemporary life. The third section focuses on the history of Haiti from colonial times to the present and shows the ways in which history has shaped Haitian society. It shows how colonial class and colour structures have persisted, how the revolution has shaped subsequent political, cultural and social structures, and how the legacy of the Duvalier dictatorship has lingered. The final section features contributors who were not in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, but who have strong ties to Haiti. These authors write about their personal connections to Haiti, their reactions to the earthquake, and their hopes and recommendations for reconstruction.
All author royalties from this book will be donated to the Haitian Art Relief Fund, a charity working to support the many visual artists in Haiti who have suffered from the earthquake. The book stands as a written document of this cataclysmic event and as a monument to those who were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. It is vital reading for anyone who wants to find out about Haiti, its remarkable history and culture, and its prospects for the future.
“. . . essential reading for scholars, students and general readers interested in Haiti. It will also be of use for those involved in consciousness raising around Haiti over the coming few years. This is an urgently required volume that I will recommend widely for its varied yet coherently focused content.” – Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Chair of French and Head of School SOCLAS (French), University of Liverpool
- IndieFab Award Finalist, History (Adult Nonfiction), 2010