November 19, 2012
TransAfrica presents the Cabral/Truth Circle: "In Haiti, Cholera and Homelessness in the Midst of Storms"
Busboys and Poets
14th and V Streets NW
January 12, 2013 will mark three years since Haiti experienced the devastating earthquake which claimed more than 230,000 lives. Housing for those who lost their homes that day is still a critical problem-over 400,000 people are still living in tents. The Cabral/Truth Circle held an event with CEPR's Alex Main, attorney Nicole Phillips from the Institute of Justice and Democracy and Melinda Miles, Director of TransAfrica's Let Haiti Live project to discuss the situation in Haiti.
In October 2010 Haitian citizens began being contracting and dying from cholera - a disease never before recorded in Haiti. The source of the contamination of Haiti's largest waterway was negligence in disposing of human waste by a MINUSTAH (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) base.
A series of storms over the past two months have exacerbated these two existing crises. The island was severely hit in late August by Tropical Storm Isaac, causing flooding and further loss of life. Before people had completely recovered, Haiti was hit by Hurricane Sandy, which hovered over the island and saturated the entire West and South regions with heavy rains for several days. Rivers swallowed homes and gardens, while flooding and mudslides destroyed food crops, roads and bridges. Heavy rains have also drenched northern Haiti and the second largest city, Cap-Haitien. The total count of people officially killed by these storms is now more than seventy-five.
A screening of the film "Baseball in The Time of Cholera" by David Darg & Bryn Mooser was held as part of the event.
About the film: A powerful insight into the tragedy of Haiti's Cholera Epidemic through the eyes of a young baseball player. As the Cholera epidemic rages in Haiti, the UN still denies responsibility for introducing the disease despite glaring evidence. This is the story of Joseph, a young baseball player, and a Haitian Lawyer fighting for compensation for the victims. As the epidemic spreads, the two stories intersect in the struggle for survival and justice. (From the film's official site)
A discussion followed of the ongoing crises on the ground, including an update on the lawsuit against the UN and action that is being taken to solve the housing crisis.
- Attorney Nicole Phillips from the Institute of Justice and Democracy and
- Alex Main from the Center for Economic and Policy Research will appear via Skype, and
- Melinda Miles, Director of TransAfrica's Let Haiti Live project will be at the Cabral/Truth Circle
The Cabral/Truth Circle is a combination of a great film festival and an exciting book club that focuses on the history and political movements of Africa and the African Diaspora. The Circle, named after Amilcar Cabral and Sojourner Truth, focuses on the history and political movements of Africa and the African Diaspora through a film screening and highlighting of a complementary book. Every other month, TransAfrica shows a short documentary and hosts a discussion linking history and current affairs, and encouraging individual and collective activism.