Bidonville – Petionville – Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

May 12, 2020

When I first began to travel as an adult, I would take ridiculous amounts of pictures.  Often times, these pictures reflected the disparate life conditions that people face.  As a general practice, I don’t do that anymore.  It, too often, reflects the viewpoint of an outsider looking in, providing commentary, and judgement of life dynamics we/they know absolutely nothing about….so often, we don’t even know we don’t know!!

Never-the-less, because the general absence of knowledge regarding Haiti…and the intense disparate treatment many of us of privilege create…either directly or indirectly….I am going to show you some of the ‘Bidonville’s’….

While this is someone’s home I can across downtown, it is only a start:

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The ‘bidonville’ for Haiti means – ‘thrown together’!!  A person/family basically finds whatever materials they can find…and throws them together to create a home.  Sometimes they are separate standing, but often times they are all built together – on top of each other – no basic utilities:

 

The pictures do not provide the complete justice needed to understand these circumstances, but if that is what you seek…then, you will know!!

 

But, let us not get this twisted….Haiti has immensity of ‘Bidonville’….but, like most places the socio-economic absence of equity can be intense.  Up in those hills, above the ‘Bidonville’, is what we call ‘Petionville’.  Generally, called a suburb of Port-Au-Prince, but also considered separate….

and a few more….

Again, it would be easy to turn this post into an expose on structural violence, and the disparate life dynamics faced by many.  But, I want to keep it more focused on the attempt to see something beautiful….

A walk around the shopping areas will give you clear indications of the SEPARATION.  However, it also provides intriguing access to a portion of Haitian culture, for this is where I actually purchased this amazing painting…

upper.haiti

Rolled up and packed in a warehouse…took hours to find something like this….for me, it is the Haitian version of the famous statue by Auguste Rodin: ‘The Thinker’…. and, I am constantly striving to demonstrate improved thinking and reflecting….although, I will admit….sometimes I am successful with that…and well….sometimes not….

 

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