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.


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