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Haitian filmmaker leads discussion on post-quake reconstruction

November 4, 2014
scene of devastation, with crosses marking gravesImage of graves near Port-au-Prince, from "Fatal Assistance," a film by Raoul Peck.

WHAT: The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies will host Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck for a screening and discussion of his film, Fatal Assistance. Peck will also be a part of a symposium, “Respè ak Respekte (Respect and Enforce): History, Urban Planning and the Tensions of Humanitarianism in Haiti,” as part of the institute’s two-day event, “The Idea of Africa: From Haiti to the Liberation of South Africa.”

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: Fatal Assistance screening and discussion will begin at 6 p.m., Tuesday Nov. 4, Dewey Hall 1-101.

The symposium, “Respè ak Respekte (Respect and Enforce): History, Urban Planning and the Tensions of Humanitarianism in Haiti,” will be held 10 a.m.– noon, Wednesday Nov. 5, Hawkins-Carlson Room in Rush Rhees Library.

Both events are on the University of Rochester’s River Campus and are open to the public.

ABOUT FATAL ASSISTANCE: Raoul Peck’s 2013 film takes a provocative and radical viewpoint of the complexities of Haitian reconstruction after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation in 2010. From the devastating cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by United Nations Peacekeepers—and that has claimed more than 8000 lives to date—to the flagrant manipulations of presidential elections, Fatal Assistance is a compelling, if tragic illustration of the dark sides of Western humanitarian interventions.

ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM SPEAKERS: Raoul Peck is a Haitian filmmaker of documentary and feature films including Man by the Shore (L’Homme sur les Quais), and Lumumba. He served briefly as Haiti’s Minister of Culture from 1996 to 1997. In addition to filmmaking, Peck is an economist and development policy expert.

Millery Polyné is an associate professor and associate dean of faculty and academic affairs at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He is the author of From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964 (2010), and The Idea of Haiti: Rethinking Crisis and Development (2013).

Harley Etienne is an assistant professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His work examines the role of land tenure policy and land rights in the post-earthquake recovery.

Greg Beckett is an assistant professor of anthropology at Bowdoin College. His work on Haiti has appeared in leading periodicals such as Small Axe, Social and Economic Studies, and the Journal of Haitian Studies. Beckett examines the proliferation of non-governmental organizations and international aid programs in Haiti.

Rose-Marie Chierici is an emeritus professor of anthropology at SUNY Geneseo. She is the co-founder of Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E), a Rochester-based organization that consists of a network of doctors, business people, and educators who work to promote social justice in Borgne, Haiti.

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Category: Society & Culture