Things that the ARTIST or DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER
Can and Should Do to RESCUE Haiti
The humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti must not be allowed to further harm the dignity and sovereignty of that nation's people. If we've read INTERNET WEBSITES on HAITI's sad HISTORY with America, we can agree that the American superpower has repeatedly violated Haitian national rights for two centuries of exploitation. Imagine how powerful a statement the documentary film maker could make. His film could cover the history of that exploitation, using news film, stock film, even scenes from Brando in "BURN". where slaves are being whipped by Brando as the sugar plantation owner. The historical EXPLOITATION OF HAITI is amply recorded in newsreels, Duvalier, the voting scandals The massacres, the starvation, poverty, DOCUMENTARIES are not that hard to do, or that expensive. And you get a fab vacation out of it, well, with things as they are today...an INTERESTING one. As a counterpoint to all that misery, one could add a theme to the documentary. Cover a plethora of European/ BEV HILLS/ HOUSTON/ FRISCO/ SEATTLE NYC galleries rushing to pick up the work of talented PRIMITIVE ARTISTS and you can easily start that movement going with this article. Send it to gallery owners you find online. For more picturs than the dozen I have here, just google "HAITIAN ART" in the image area. Or as you read below, see a dozen paintings I found this way. There are also dozens of albums, CD's of Haitian music available for your background music:
So you'd send all the HAITIAN MUSIC you find online to all the bands, A&R guys, record labels that you know and SIC THEM ON HAITI! Hope that these rich guys travel down there, record some bands, carry the sound to Europe/USA and send back the MONEY to HAITI. Hey, it could happen! Your efforts could easily be the fulcrum of such world-changing events.
We need a deluge of art buyers going down there, carrying their own water and tent, leaving both when they depart. So far, the USA has sent soldiers, ARMED MEN --so a lot of choices which have 'militarized' the humanitarian relief. Everybody's talking about shooting the looters! Two killed last nite. Fergawds sakes, aren't they just fathers of children seeking food or water? The fact remains that the first thing that the USA sent was ARMED SOLDIERS. Some bozos saw the broken roads on TV and still sent heavy equipment which cannot leave the AIRPORT!
Imagine instead a fleet footed army of artistic progressives, music producers, CD makers and their MAC BURNERS and MP3 burners picking up the sounds in HAITI returning to sound studios where thousands of blank CD's wait, donated by record companies. Volunteers who export and record and sell Haitian music. Easy to do a tax exempt foundation and salary yourself for your labor plus get a real wild vacation. Take your video and sound set up, SELL THE RESULTS TO CABLE.
Right now today, you could locate a dozen Galleries in your town ready to sell Haitian paintings. You probably have this kind of art entrepreneur right in your city, on your street. Here is a very simple ten point gameplan for really rescuing the island nation. If you're not an artist, filmmaker, art collector, painter or merchant, then your job is to write LETTERS TO THE EDITOR and make these ideas below 'surface' in the US MEDIA. That's all.
Allow all Haitians in the US to work. LET' those 30,000 men OUT OF MIGRA JAILS on the US SHORE! The number one source of money for poor people in Haiti is the money sent from family and workers in the U S back home. Haitians will continue to help themselves if given a chance. Haitians in the US will continue to help when the world community moves on to other problems. The corrollary to this is EVERY BUSINESS HIRE A HAITIAN! Start placing ads in craigs list. "WE ARE HIRING: Know a HAITIAN? If you have family back home, we will make a place for you in our ORG." Today the GOV announced they WOULD NOT send them back to HAITI as a FAVOR. They could stay for a year. But that does the family back home no good.
Do not allow US military in Haiti to shoot Haitians or even point their
guns at those LOOTERS who may be fathers of families. Hungry
Haitians are not the enemy. Decisions have already been made which will
militarize the humanitarian relief but do not allow the victims to be cast as
criminals. Do not demonize the people.
IMF/ WORLD BANKS? Give Haiti some big cash grants as help,
not as your standard bogus loans. Haiti does not need any more debt.
Make sure that the relief given helps Haiti rebuild its public sector so
that the country can provide its own citizens with basic public services.
Those MICRO LOANS that YUNUS does, (he won Nobel for it,)
would be an excellent touch. Goats, sewing machines, etc.
* Prioritize humanitarian aid to help women, children and the elderly.
They are always moved to the back of the line. If they are moved
to the back of the line, start at the back. Again, goats and sewing
machines would be a start. But also, give every homeless family an
acre in the boonies near a village with water.. USA could buy the land
as an acre is about 500$.
President Obama can enact Temporary Protected Status for
Haitians with the stroke of a pen. Do it. The US has already done it for
El Salvador , Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan and Somalia. President Obama
should do it on Martin LutherKing Day. January l8th!
* The UN has enacted Guiding Principles for Internally Displaced People.
Make them required reading for every official and non-governmental person and
organization. Non governmental organizations like charities and
international aid groups are extremely powerful in Haiti -- they
too must respect the human dignity and human rights of all people.
* Apologize to the Haitian people everywhere for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh saying SATAN WANTED YOU DEAD! IZZAT DUMB OR WHAT? This is the guy with the DIAMOND addiction who pirated sparklers outta Africa for years on end. SATAN MADE HIM DO THAT, fershure. Maybe we have a case of ROBERTSON's 'projection' --out of his own guilt for exploiting Africa. The higher the yardarm where we hang those two dingbats the better Haiti can see 'em.
*. Release all Haitians in US jails who are not accused of violent crimes .
Thirty thousand people are facing deportations right now.
No one should or even can be deported to Haiti for years to come.
Release them on Martin Luther King day. JAN 18th!!!
*Send Haiti a thousand potters' wheels and a dozen ceramics trainers. Clay is
found on riverbeds out in the country. The more people get out of the
city the better! Start them off contributing bricks for their kilns. send them
the glazes from Italy Majolica area. Italian trainers, 2 week vacation free?
The majolica style might well help the Haitians get off the brash glary psychdelic
contrasty style they now have.
* Require that all the non-governmental organizations which raise money
in the US be transparent about what they raise, where the money goes,
and insist that they be legally accountable to the people of Haiti. ANYBODY
puts his hand in the HAITI TILL GETS HIS NUTS CHOPPED OFF. And
everybody who gets a phony cash raising EMAIL send it to the SPAM CATCHERS. Google up fraud division of US GOV.
* The entire world, the US, UK, France..etc could make every single import
from Haiti totally duty free, sans tariff, for a decade. Resultant profits for Haitian
development would be overnight. Trade is like BLOOD carrying nutrition. An instant
influx stops death! Haiti should then raise the rate of its tax on land owned by wealthy
foreigners and agri businesses and actually collect it. Any AGRI BUSINESS that
protests forfeits entire plantation.
* * FOR THE NEXT PIECE OF GREAT ART, you have to GOOGLE this search term "HAITIAN ART" * *
Second to last: the US would extend the duty free window; 100% recovery for a catastrophe of this dimension might merit a 20 year lifespan. Then, if Haiti were to actually spend the revenue to benefit the populace funding truly useful services, the US would make the policy permanent. Any officials taking a cut, any pork barreling, nuts get chopped by U.N. watch group. The infractor is sent to labor in the new rice plantations, as a volunteer, min. wage salary.
* Last, most obvious if you've read this far, seek out those chichi ART GALLERIES - And film that too, To animate people across America and Europe to try the HAITIAN ART EXPORTING BIz, in your documentary, show scenes of the uberwealthy paying hundreds of thousands for Haitan art. And make friends with the billionaires. Tell them you'll show the finished documentary to their friends at a party they will give. And right and left, get people to invest with the big construction companies in the Caribbean to build Port Au Prince efficiency living apartment buildings, l00 units, cots, stoves, great plumbing. Cost a tiny million a building. The art they sell can pay for the whole thing and employ hundreds of Haitians for the construction. Get your galleries to send a charitable contingent down there with lg. tents, generators, art tools, brushes, paints, bulk food supplies, pots, camping stoves, bench making tools, cotton and stretcher bars for canvases and art teachers; get the people painting those Haitian Folk paintings that sell like hotcakes for $1,000 each in Europe/NYC when painter only needs a l00$ to buy a HOUSE and a flock of goats. Art can put the country back on its feet. They are a bunch of Henri Rousseaus!
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