THE NOBLE FIRE OF ANCIENT SLAVES - Paolo Marchetti Photographer

Haitian Emergency

Citè Soleil is one of the seven municipalities of Port-au-Prince and was born as a result of the depopulation of the Haitian countryside, supported by Delatour’s policy, who took over in ’86 to Duvalier.

This political maneuver caused the subsequent rural exodus of thousands of Haitians, who were assigned this area of the city, but without any infrastructure and a prerequisite for socio-economic framework. This scenario made the context of Cite Soleil poorest in Port-au-Prince, just think that about 70% of households have no access to a latrine and unemployment exceeds 50% of the population.

This area is considered by the UN as one of the poorest and most dangerous in the Western Hemisphere. The area has been called a “microcosm of all the ills of Haitian society,” the endemic unemployment, illiteracy, non-existent public services, the unsanitary conditions, rampant crime and armed violence “, this, that always characterizes the history of the Haitian people, is now its apex, in a very confused situation.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Haitian president was from the early nineties until 2004, when he fled to South Africa. He was the populist, the showman, (has always embodied this role), and always managed to feed some support with their speeches. But when they were no longer sufficient, began distributing weapons and organizing armed gangs loyal to him: born Chimeres.
These gangs have official powers, and in no time become a normal part of politics in Haiti during the country’s history, an ordinary instrument for the control of the territory.
As a result the removal of Aristide in 2004, the international community sent a contingent of peacekeepers, the MINUSTAH (Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti), with a mandate to help the government maintain order, guarantee free and democratic elections and NATO security personnel involved in humanitarian projects.?Despite this, today the city is largely in the hands of armed gangs even if the connection with the political powers seem to be weaker than the years of terror established by Aristide.
Chimeras are still active today, a political tool of control, or simply made up of common criminals are gangs fighting a war between districts. To date, the company can count thousands of Haitian victims killed and a culture of violence as a fundamental social, that terrorizes a large part of the company honest and peaceful present in Haiti.

The Haitian people, the pearl of Africa Caribbean archipelago, is spending decades tough, between extreme poverty and the devastation caused by natural disasters, including the regime of Duvalier and Aristide and the terror of the gangs used as an instrument of control on the territory but the richness of soul and spiritual energy almost supernatural of this people, elevates its existence, with the impetus of the fire, with dignity and nobility that comes from far away and that expresses in a crystal, the desire of life.

“The noble fire of ancient slaves” tells the dramatic conditions of Haitian society, dragged to the ground during the last decades by a ruthless dictatorship, and the ruthless speculation which compromised definitely a tortured people throughout its history.
This work aims to tell how it was oppressed and humiliated the identity of a nation in the last decades and the deep wounds remain open till today.
Haiti is still in the repression of the eighties, suffering and dying, under the eyes of the civilized world, a world ready to offer aid as a commodity, an investment that pays tens of millions of Euros per year.


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