Who is Jerry on the Wall?
Haiti’s walls are falling down! Only to be built back up according to the ordinance of 2 meters from the street. Correct an aggressive public works project has been underway in the capital now for about a year, creating new public space, reducing the risk of clipping pedestrians, and bringing a new feel to corners of Port that haven’t existed for generations.
Like dominos you turn a corner and a new quarter’s walls are chipped away at, being rebuilt while sidewalks are poured and trimmed by masons. Nice new clean sidewalks and walls. Of course nothing in Haiti comes without the usual hassles and protests, such as the very sidewalks becoming a battle ground among the army of street merchants, invading SUV parking spaces and pedestrians themselves as well as the home and wall owners that now supposedly bare the expenses of the new walls. But that aside there’s something else that comes with tearing down walls, its what’s on the walls.
As they disappear so do Haitian’s quintessential spray painted messages of “bob manuel = sekerite”, “anba satan”, “pa pise la” and the mantras of political flavors of the past and chronic social requests of present neighbors. Most of these faded, multicolored, misspelled, concrete pages hold concerns and history scribbled by lowly paid quasi vagrants doing the work during ghostly hours. But the attention these days is not on the walls coming down or the sidewalks being laid or nostalgia for “aristid senk an”. No the attention-getter is Jerry. Jerry is what he goes by. His grafitti artist’s signature aside every scrawling he does. His talent and messages are vanguard. And there are many works creeping from the concentration of the Bois Verna, Turgeau, MLK areas. But why does he do it? And who is he that is doing it?
Bourik (BOS) is bent on finding out. So far we know he’s fast, elusive. Some say perhaps a bit mad. But the only certainty is he can spray paint images depicting the emotions of Haiti’s street. To know more Bourik is posting flyers like the one below throughout the area in the hopes of catching Jerry before some of his walls fall too. In the meantime Bourik will map his work and scoop the population for thoughts on Jerry and his art. Stay tuned!