Vodoun

Book Review: Farewell, Fred Voodoo

By Bryan Schaaf on Sunday, January 20, 2013.
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Amy Wilentz understands Haitian culture, history, and language as few other foreigners do.  This, combined with candor about her own biases and emotions, makes her a compelling writer about a country where nothing is black and white.  Like many of us, she seeks redemption of a sort through Haiti.  Throughout her most recent book, "Farewell, Fred Vodoo", she emphasizes that Haitian perspectives are the best ways to understand the reality of post-earthquake Haiti.  Below is a review by Hector Tobar of the LA Times.  More information about the book and upcoming readings are available on Amy Wilentz's website

Don't Count Haiti Out

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, January 18, 2010.

Haiti is a nation of resistance and resilience.  Were this not the case, it would not exist. Despite what Pat Robertson and other misguided religious zealots may so, the Haitian people did not deserve this.  They will pick up the pieces and begin the long, hard task of rebuilding.  As Amy Wilentz states in her op-ed piece to the LA Times below, it would be a mistake to count them out.  Haiti won't be the same, but it will recover. Read more »

Cine Institute Releases Spring 2009 Student Videos

By Bryan Schaaf on Saturday, July 11, 2009.

Many interesting films have been made about Haiti - but comparatively few of them have been made by Haitians.  Someday, this may change.  Jacmel's Cine Institute, the only film school in Haiti, is teaching students how to make documentaries, films, and even commercials.  Donations help to keep the tuition free.  These initial efforts may be short, but they could represent the first steps in the careers of a new generation of Haitian film-makers.  Below are links to and summaries of the 2009 Spring Semester films. Read more »

The Other Side of the Water: Miami Rara Festival (May 21-24,2009)

By Bryan Schaaf on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

From May 21st-24th, there will be a festival of films, workshops, and music in Miami to celebrate the premiere of the documentary "The Other Side of the Water".  The Other Side follows the 20 year journey of a Haitian rara band in America. Much like Haiti itself, rara is unique, compelling and chaotic.  If you have a chance to attend, by all means do.  The Miami Light Project, the Backyard Movement, Change Charity, Inc., Moksha Family, and HaitiXchange.com will be participating.  Below is more information and a schedule. Read more »