from the visit to CERLAC of Prof. Patrick
including the March 3 reception & Baptista
Essay Prize ceremony and the March 4 Michael Baptista Lecture
(scroll down for more information on the March
4, 2010 Michael Baptista Lecture, delivered by Prof. Bellegarde-Smith)
Jose Zelaya, Patrick Taylor, Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Andrea
Davis, Wail Qattan
Michele Johnson, Vermonja Alston, Danielle Robinson, Eduardo
Jose Zelaya, Sharon Baptista, Patrick Taylor
Baptista Essay Prize-winner (undergraduate 2009) Emmanuelle
Fick & Sharon Baptista
Baptista esaay prizewinners Emmanuelle Fick (undergraduate 2009),
Laurence Robitaille (graduate 2009) and Nicholas Balaisis (graduate 2008) flanking
Andrea Davis & Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
Eduardo Canel & Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
Alissa Trotz & Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
Jude Ulysse, Patrick Bellegarde-Smith & Melanie Newton
Thanks to our additional co-sponsors:
Office of the Vice-President, Human Resources &
Equity, University of Toronto and The Anti-Racism and Cultural
Diversity Office, University of Toronto
More information about the March
3 lecture at York University is available here.
More information about the Michael
Baptista Lectures is available here.
About the lecture (speaker's
'Apocalypse' is not too strong of a word for the event that took place
in Port-au-Prince, on January 12, 2010 at 4:53 in the afternoon. One
third of the citizenry was affected, and Haitians will have to live
with the aftershocks till the middle of the 21st century. "Apocalyptic"
is usually the word applied to the entire thrust of Haitian history
by reporters and pundits with scant knowledge of Haitian history and
culture. It is high time that North Americans learn about a society
to which they are intimately linked for ill and good. Proximity has
not made for good neighbors. Haitians take solace about the auspicious
coming together of the 'stars,' President Obama and Governor-General
Michaelle Jean, and the hundreds of thousands of Haitians now Canadian
or American citizens, that augurs well for a different historical course
between our three nations. What can we now expect? what will transpire
in the foreseable future?
About the lecturer
Patrick Bellegarde-Smith has a PhD in international
relations and comparative politics, but he is most proud of his status
as a 'oungan asogwe,' the highest ranking that one can achieve as a
priest of Vodou, Haiti's national religion. Transcending religion to
become spiritual discipline and worldview, Vodou has impacted all systems
and fields in Haitian culture, playing a similar role as Shinto in Japan,
Hinduism in India, and Judaism in Israel. Besides key books on Haitian
history and social philosophy, Bellegarde-Smith has edited or co-edited
a series of volumes on Vodou, Cuban Santeria, and Brazilian Candomble
and Umbanda. Several of these books have seen translation into Spanish,
Portuguese, and French. He is the grandson of Dantès Bellegarde,
Haiti's foremost diplomat of the 20th century, and one of two major
philosophers, with Jean Price-Mars, in the country.
Prof. Bellegarde-Smith in his
liturgical vestments, with two young women being intronized as "manbos,"
or female priests.
INTERVIEWS with Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS of Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
Powers: Vodou and Development in Haiti (Co-editor with Claudine
Vodou: Spirit, Myth, and Reality (Co-editor with Claudine Michel)
of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World (Editor) (2005)
The Breached Citadel (1990) (Second Edition 2004)
On Haiti: The Breached Citadel: "The updated edition
of this perceptive study could hardly appear at a more auspicious
moment, as the latest phase of the tragedy of Haiti is unfolding.
It brilliantly illuminates the rich tapestry of Haitian culture and
reveals the remarkable resilience of the Haitian people, subjected
to centuries of rapacity and violence and brutally punished for revealing
"the limited definition of freedom adopted by the French and
American revolutions," in the author's accurate words. As he
relates, they have continued to teach such lessons to this day, frightening
the rich and powerful in their own tortured land and at the centres
of global rule. It is our great loss if we choose not to understand,
and there is no better starting point than this learned and penetrating
inquiry." -- Noam Chomsky
- In the Shadow of Powers: Dantès Bellegarde in Haitian Social
Thought (1985; second edition 2009)
About the Haitian
Del Pueblo will exhibit Haitian paintings from the most
prominent collections in North America, including the provenance of
the Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme and that of Dr. Halvor and
Astrid Jaeger of Montréal.
See this link for more information
About the fundraising beneficiary:
About IBBY Haiti and its director, Jocelyne Trouillot:
Read a letter that IBBY Haiti has sent to UNICEF
requesting support for the program. It describes their plans in more
detail, as well as the sources of their support, which include Haitians
in the diaspora. Note that all labour involved in IBBY Haiti is voluntary--funds
raised go entirely to training volunteers to provide bibliotherapy and
to printing books in Creole to be used in bibliotherapy.
As a non-governmental organization with an official status in UNESCO
and UNICEF, IBBY has a policy-making role as an advocate of children's
books. IBBY is committed to the principles of the International Convention
on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Nations in 1990.
One of its main proclamations is the right of the child to a general
education and to direct access to information. Thanks to IBBY’s
insistence, the resolution includes an appeal to all nations to promote
the production and distribution of children's books.
IBBY Haiti director Jocelyne Trouillot is a well-known children's author,
who writes in both Creole and French under the name Joslin Twouyo. She
is also the Rectrice of the Universite Caraibes, and the author of L'histoire
de l'education en Haiti (Universite Caraibes 2003). Other IBBY
Haiti members include Haitian authors, translators, illustrators, and
teachers active in the areas of children's literature and children's
Googling either "IBBY Haiti" or "Jocelyne Trouillot"
will also provide abundant further information about this organization
and its very well-respected, both in Haiti and internationally, director.
Recommended readings & resources
EXPLAINED - Al-Jazeera (video): Just weeks after the earthquake
that took more than 200,000 lives, Avi Lewis finds that debates over
how to rebuild Haiti are already underway.
Timeline: A History of Military Dictatorship and Civil Rule
aid ignored by the media?
Kidnapping of Haiti (John Pilger)
Grasses of Ginen (Beverly Bell)