Global Voices in Haiti: The Grand Rue Artists, After the Earthquake

Global Voices has sent a two-person team to Port-au-Prince in the wake of the Haiti earthquake, to help support citizen media activity. Georgia Popplewell and Alice Backer are also contributing firsthand reporting to our coverage of recovery efforts. Find out more about their assignment here.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, 29 January, 2010

Grand Rue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is one of the city's most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, but also home to a vibrant community of artists who create works of art out of the discarded materials they find in their environment. The area was host to the first Ghetto Biennale in December 2009.

This video highlights the impact of the January 12 earthquake on the artists’ surroundings and their way of life. (A version with English subtitles is available at dotSUB.) It features an interview with Belle Williams, spokesperson for Ti Moun Rezistans, an arts programme for children of the Grand Rue area.

To offer direct support to the artists of Grand Rue, please donate to the Foundry Haiti Fund.


Alice Backer has posted a video interview with Siméon Evans, another member of the Grand Rue creative community, in which he talks about a mural created for the 2009 Ghetto Biennale by British artist Bill Drummond. “Evans believes Bill Drummond's mural foresaw the earthquake. The mural contains the words ‘Imagine si demen pa gen mizik’. (‘Imagine there is no music tomorrow’.)”

A number of international artists and journalists have posted texts, photographs, and video recording the Ghetto Biennale online. Photographer Emily Troutman shared video footage of a musical procession in the Grand Rue at YouTube. There are photosets posted at Flickr by PRI's The World and John T. Unger. Brooklyn-based writer Richard Fleming posted several reports at his blog, and wrote a piece for the Miami Herald. Artist Tracey Moberly's account of the Biennale appears at Dazed Digital.

A version of this report was originally posted at Caribbean Free Radio.

Global Voices’ work in Haiti is supported by our general support donors and by a humanitarian information grant from Internews. Please visit the Global Voices Haiti Earthquake page for more coverage.

Nicholas Laughlin contributed to this post.


  • Bonjour,
    Je fais de la therapie par des bols chantants, des Singing Bowls de l Himalaya. Ca peut aider les traumatismes, les bloquages, les maladies, les souffrances, les maux physiques…
    Je suis artiste aussi, et j aimerais aider les artistes qui ont souffert du tremblement de terre.
    Si il y a moyen d ‘aider, contactez moi, et je verrai ce qui est possible.
    Merci et bonne chance

  • Dear Georgia, Alice, and Muwgli,

    Fantastic reports, which I’d like to send word of to the Corbett list! I see that you are there, Georgia, so that’s why I haven’t been passing posts along to you personally (or to Janine), because you’re getting all of them on the listserv!

    If there is anything I can do to help, plz let me know!

    Muwgli, what a lovely and healing offer! I’d like to pass that along to a Haiti-linked listserv, the one I mention above. And to a Haitian arts listserv I have created, for those of us involved in the arts, or wanting to use it as you have described.

    Please feel free to be in touch with me, at

    With all best wishes, blessings, and bon courage! Janet

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Global Voices, Asteris Masouras, Georgia Popplewell, Nicholas Laughlin, RuFreeman and others. RuFreeman said: Global Voices in Haiti: The Grand Rue Artists, After the Earthquake […]

  • […] And here is a great short film featuring Belle Williams from the Grand Rue Atis-Resiztans community talking about the Ghetto Biennale and how the community is responding the the crisis. Belle Williams speaking about the Ghetto Biennale […]

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