Istwa m melanje ak rèv mwen yo/My history, mixed with my dreams

6 05 2011

Mwen se Ayiti.  Depi lontan mwen ekziste, mwen te toujou gen gwo solèy ki t’ap klere m men sa pat enpeche m rete fre.

Mwen te gen pye k’ap pile m, ki vle di mwen te abite pa yon bèl ras yon nasyon po wouj.

Christophe Colomb ak solda li yo te vin dekouvri m kòm yon dezyèm paradi.

Depi lè sa yo wè ke lanati mwen bèl yo wè bèl pye bwa, bèl plaj, yo tonbe de pale yo banm pot non <<Ispanyola>> ki vle di petit espay.

Epoutan se blofe yo t’ap blofe m, yo te vle gaspiye m epi piye m.

Aprè kèlke mwa yo retounen debake pa pil pa pakèt ak yon bann gwo bato pou yo ale ak sa manman yo ak papa yo te kite pou yo

Yo te mete bèl pitit mwen yo nan esklavaj nan travay fòse.  Yo fini pa mouri pase yo pat abitye, se kouche yo te konn kouche tout la senti jounen epi manje vyann boukannen.

La frans tande gen yon ti île, yon ti peyi li batay ak espanyol jiskaske yo twouve yo antant.

Yo siyen yon trete pou yo ka maltrete m.

Lè pitit mwen yo fin mouri (endyen yo) yo debake ale achte nèg an Afrik yo rantre vini ak yo sou yon gwo bato ki rele Negriye.

Nèg sa yo te vrèman imilye, maltrete, yo bay yo non esklav, ki se yon byen mèb, ki gen yon mèt.  Esklav sa yo travay du lever au coucher du soleil, yo menm konn touye yo bay bèt manje.

Tout byen m ak ekonomi mwen te repose sou do esklav sa yo nan travay nan jaden kann, nan sikreri, nan boulanjeri, kòm esklav a talan, esklav domestik.

Se yon delivrans lè dwa de lòm te deklare tout moun fèt pou viv lib pa dwe gen kesyon esklav ak mèt.

Sa pot enpeche yo kontinye.

Sou abitasyon breda te gen yon ti nonm ki te rele Toussaint li lite jouk li kapab pou wè sil te ka delivre nèg sa yo men elas lit la te mal pase olye de dyalòg se te zam li te dwe pran.

Mwen kwe dyalòg tap pi bon pou mwen paske ti rès richès ki rete yo tap ret pou pititi mwen.

Dessalines repran lit la pou pi rèd ak yon sistèm koupe tèt, boule kay, aprè seremoni nan Bwa Kayiman anpil kay boule, anpil kout zam tire.

18 novanm 1803 nan batay Ravin Akoulèv anpil blan franse tonbe, anpil richès gaspiye.

An 1804, mwen gen yon peyi.  Yon peyi ki plonje nan kriz ekonomik, kriz politik, kriz sosyal.

Kriz politik ak sosyal la fè anpil san koule. An 1805 Dessalines te touye ti rès franse sou pretèks yo se espyon ansyen metwopòl la.

E poutan yo pral touye nonm an 1806 poutèt tè li te vin ak yon sistèm gran pwopriyete tèrèn.

E poutan ti peyizan ki te libere m yo t’ap reklame ti lo tè, ti tè pa mòso  misye te kont koripsyon administrativ li te sezi tout tè san papye.

Nou konnen nèg milat yo tap mande tè papa yo te kite pou yo, milat sa yo te mete ak ti peyizan yo.

Yo te rive touye Dessalines 17 oktòb 1806.  Aprè sa te vin gen batay de Sibè mwen te vin gen 2 prezidan yon nan lwès ak sid, lòt la nan nò.  Lè nèg sa yo fin mouri, Boyer pran la relèv, li peye dèt mwen yo li reyini île la ki te divize an 2 pati kanpay de lès e kanpay lwès.

Si nou wè mwen rakonte nou tray ak tribilasyon mwen, se paske mwen bezwen chanjman.  Chanjman sou tout pwen ke se swa politik, ekonomik, sosyal.  Fòk nou respekte konstitisyon mwen an.

Ki vle di:

1.    Fòk eleksyon onèt e kredib, òganize chak fwa yon gouvènman fin pran manda li.
2.    Fòk nou sispann sistèm gwo pòch sa kraze kès leta = ogmante plis soufrans.
3.    Fòk nou kraze sistèm chomaj, chomaj sa ki lage pèp la nan zak malonèt tankou nan fè manifestasyon pou yo ka dechouke
4.    Fòk gen inivèsite ak lise pou jèn yo mwen ka edike.
5.    Fòk gen yon rekonsilasyon nasyonal pou tout moun egal e fòk ekzile nou rantre lakay pou kontinye ede m sitou nan kesyon rekonstriksyon m.

Si nou fè sa map vin pi bèl, mwen p’ap debuloze, m’ap ka konbat siklòn ak tranblemanditè.
Gen de bagay ki pase devan je m ki pa fè byen, tankou lè yon ap touye lòt oubyen lè siklòn ap fin pote pitit mwen na lanmè sa fè m mal anpil.

Mwen vle sot nan eta mwen ye ya men sa depan de nou.

Nan tèt ansanm, nan viv tankou frè ak sè, nan konn soufrans youn ak lòt n’ap rive rann mwen bèl.

Lè sa tout lòt nasyon ap vle frekante m ansi nou menm tou être ayitien veut dire avoir un drapeau.

Yon drapo ki senbolize lape, dyalòg rekonsilasyon, libète, egalite, ak fratènite.

— DUVERT Wescando

*********************************************
I am Haiti.  Long have I existed, and I have always been shone upon by the bright sun, but it never hindered me from staying cool.

Long ago, my land was trodden by many feet, which is to say that I was inhabited by a beautiful red-skinned race.

Christopher Columbus and his soldiers discovered me and found that, next to heaven, I was the closest thing to paradise.

From that moment they saw my beautiful nature, my beautiful trees and beautiful beaches, they christened me Hispaniola, which means Little Spain.

And yet it was nothing more than trickery and lies — they wanted only to lay waste to me and plunder me.

After some months they returned, they came on and all, with everything their mothers and fathers had left them.

They enslaved my beautiful children, put them to forced work.  And they all began to die, my children, because they weren’t used to that kind of work — they were used to lying around all the blessed day eating roasted meat in their paradise.

They signed a treaty so they could mistreat me.

When at last all my children, the Indians, had died, the foreigners left to go buy Africans.  They returned with them on great ships known as Négriers.

These men and women were so humiliated, abused.  They were calles slaves, which is like being an object, a piece of property with a master.  These slaves worked from sunrise to sunset, and could even be slaughted and fed to the beasts.

All of my wealth and economy rested on the backs of these slaves, working in the sugar cane fields, in the sugar factories, making bread, as “slaves of talent,” as domestic slaves.

It was salvation when the Rights of Man were declared, sayng that everyone should live free, that there would no longer be slaves and masters.

This was the beginning of the end of slavery in Haiti.

On Breda’s plantation there lived a man named Toussaint.  He fought as hard as he was able to deliver his countrymen from slavery, but alas, the struggle was greater than his ability to create dialogue, and in the end he had to take up arms instead.

I think that dialogue would have been better for me than armed struggled, because what remained of my riches would have been better preserved for my children.

Dessalines, again, took up the struggle for a better system.  He beheaded, burned houses.  After the ceremony at Bois Caiman, many homes were burned; many shots were fired.

On November 18, 1803, at the battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres, many French fell, and many of my riches were destroyed.

In 1804, I was born a country.  A country plunged into economic crises, political crises, social crises.

The political and social crises made a lot of blood flow.  In 1805, Dessalines killed what remained of the French on the pretext that they were spies of the former métropole.

However, he too would be killed, in 1806, because of his land reform policies.

And nonetheless, the small peasants who had liberated me claimed my land as their own, and Dessalines was against administrative corruption and seized all the ownerless land to be controlled by the state.

We knew the mulatres would demand the land their fathers had left for them, and those mulatres joined forces with the small peasants.

They killed Dessalines on October 17, 1806.  After that, there was the Battle of Sibert, and I had two presidents, one in the west and the south, and one in the north.  When they at last died, Boyer took advantage of this respite to pay my debts off and reunite the island that had been divided in two.

If you see that I am telling of my trials and tribulations, it’s because I yearn for change.  Change in all realms, political, economic, and social.  You must respect my constitution.

Which is to say:

1.  Elections must be honest and credible, organized every time a government has finished its mandate.
2.  We must stop this system of politicians filling their pockets from state coffers; it only leads to more suffering.
3.  We must break this system of unemployment.  Unemployment leads people to commit dishonest acts, to protest in the streets, to engage in violent dechoukaj.
4.  We must have universities and high schools so my young people can be educated.
5.  We must have a national reconciliation so everyone can be equal, and the dyaspora should come home so they can help me, especially in this period of my reconstruction.

If we do all this, I will become more beautiful, I will not fall apart, I will be able to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.

There are things that pass before me that hurt me — when people kill one another, or when hurricanes carry my children out to sea, this hurts me greatly.

I want to escape from this state I am in now, but that depends on you.

In putting your heads together, in living as brothers and sisters, in knowing one another’s suffering, you will make me more beautiful.

And when that happens, other countries will flock to me, your desires will be realized, and being Haitian will mean having a flag.

A flag which symbolizes peace, reconciliatory dialogue, liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

— Wescando DUVERT





Geto/Ghetto

7 04 2011

Se la m’ grandi

Se la m’ ka ri

Se la m’aprann lavi

E tout nan m’ soude ak li

Anndan l mwen gen patnè

Ladan m’ ka mache nenpòtlè

Tout moun anndan l’ pou mwen se frè ak sè

Pou mwen yo toujou la lè malè

Menm si sa di m’ pap dòmi grangou

Vwazin nan ak mwen chanje plat chak jou

Lè youn genyen lòt pa jou lou

Pase kanmèm fòk li ba ou.

Vakans nou fè bèl chanpyona

Kay yon patnè n’al gad tele lè swa

Pale foutbòl ak bay istwa

Avan pou n’ kase randevou pou demen swa.

Manman youn se manman tout

Nan geto nou tout fè youn

Nan geto tout moun konn moun

Anndan geto nou tout se youn.

Menm si yo di li bay bandi

Men andan l’ nou tout se fanmi

Paske nou pa gen lajan

Yo ban nou move jan

Lè zòt bezwen pouvwa

Yo fè n kwè n’ap manje zwa

Men aprè se menm traka a

Li lè pou geto a gen lajwa

Menm si nou sot ba

Nou ka rive wo

Men nou pap bat ba

Paske nou se geto

E nap toujou rete geto.

— DUPALIS Élie

****************

It’s where I grew up
It’s where I can laugh
It’s where I learned about life
And my whole soul is welded to it.

Inside is where my boys are
Inside, I can walk around at any time
Everyone inside is a brother and sister to me
They’re always there when something goes wrong.

So that means I never go to sleep hungry
Neighbors share their food every day
When one has enough, no one suffers
Because everyone must give to one another.

During summer vacation, we play sports in the street
Go to friends’ houses and watch TV
Talk about soccer and tell stories
Before we make plans for tomorrow night.

The mother of one is everyone’s mother
In the ghetto, we all become one.
In the ghetto, we all know each other.
Inside the ghetto, we are all the same.

Even though they say it makes people gangsters
But inside it, we’re all family.
Because we don’t have any money
They treat us like we’re nobody.
But when those Others need power,
They make us think we’ll eat caviar
But after that, it’s just the same shit.
It’s time for the ghetto to at last know joy.

Even though we’ve started low
We can reach high
But we’ll never surrender
Because we are ghetto
And we will always be ghetto.

— Élie DUPALIS





Libète, egalite, fratènite

21 12 2010

Libète, Egalite, Fratènite

Pouki nan tout peyi k’egzizte

Se nou kan mal propete.

Yo di tout bouch fann pou manje.

Mwen menm fanm si m pa bwase lavi m pap jwenn

Soupe pouki se konsalye

Yo prann pou Bèt

Yo ba nou nen pòl kou Frèt

Eske se pask nou pa anafabèt

Ou Byen n pa gen Bon zasèt.

Nan peyi’m

lè se pa koudeta k frape

se dlo k’met pye

lè se peyi’m ki tranble

se kolera kantre

Oo, oo, men pouki aprè desan zan libète

Anyen serye pa janm regle

Nou menm, fanm Pòtoprens ak fanm provens

Nou gen dwa tankou tout moun pou n di
Nan Egalite.

Peyizan.  Atizan.

Doktè.  Voudouizan.

Pastè.  Travayè.

Ak tout lòt yo.

Ann fè fratènite

Pou n di Repiblik DHaiti.

— JOLY Marjorie





Immediate aftermath/Imedyatman aprè tranblemanntè

16 04 2010

In contrast to what was shown in most mainstream US media accounts, the majority of people who were pulled from the rubble were saved by and immediately administered to by ordinary Haitian civilians, working with their bare hands or minimal tools.

A friend in Port-au-Prince, known here as Alix, sent these photos he took the night of January 13.  To read more about his experience and observations, please click “Accounts.”

Kontrè avèk sa nou te wè nan medya ameriken yo, se te ayisyen òdinè menm ki te retire majorite moun ki te anba dekomb, e ayisyen menm ki te pran swen imedyat pou moun ki te siviv, avèk ti zouti oubyen san anyen.

Yon zanmi mwen nan Pòtoprens, rele isit Alix, te voye foto sa yo pou mwen ke li te pran 13 janvye nan aswè.  Pou li plis sou eksperyans ak obzevasyon Alix, sivouple klike sou “Istwa.”

Delmas: 12 janvye swa/the night of 13 January © 2010 Stories from Haiti

13 janvye swa: moun kap bay swen ijans lòt moun. The night of January 13: people providing emergency care to each other. © 2010 Stories from Haiti

13 janvye swa: yon aparèy empwovize. The night of January 13: an improvised splint. © 2010 Stories from Haiti