Documentary Reveals Heroisim of Independent Haitian Journalists

Black and Cuba cinematographer, Ashley Panzera, is currently in Haiti working on Noise Runs, the forthcoming documentary about a team of young, Haitian journalists who spark social change in the tent camps of Port-au-Prince as they produce a radical Kreyol-language newspaper.

In Haiti, 90% of the press is controlled by the wealthy elite. It is written in French. Most Haitians speak Kreyol.

In the aftermath of the earthquake of 2010, a group of childhood friends reunited in Haiti to found Bri Kouri Nouvél Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads), a free, Kreyol-language newspaper focused on democratizing information in the tent camps of Port-au-Prince.

Noise Runs follows this team of radical citizen journalists as they develop, print and distribute one edition of the paper. Meanwhile, a group of readers awaits the latest edition, living daily realities of life in the camps: broken promises for reconstruction, a brutal “peace-keeping” force, the persistent threat of cholera and eviction, and only one link to information about the real forces at work behind it all.

One reality the hundreds of families living in camps for internally displaced people is harassment and intimidation.  They are at imminent risk of forced eviction.  The subjects at Bri Kouri report the story here.

On May 27, Amnesty International delegates received assurances from a representative of the alleged landowner that no one would be forcibly evicted.  However, Amnesty will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that residents do not receive further threats of forced eviction or violence, and they will continue to call upon Haitian authorities to ensure that camp residents have access to durable solutions, including adequate housing and access to services.  You can help keep the pressure on by signing this letter to Haitian authorities inviting them to stand for the rights of the residents. You can also help by and spreading the word, staying in touch on Facebook and Twitter, and joining the conversation on Twitter at #noevictions.

Unfortunately, cases of forced eviction like this are not uncommon.  There are many families at risk in many camps. Stay in touch with us to get updates on how to take action.

To learn more about Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye, you can check out Let Haiti Live, a comprehensive program for Haiti working to strengthen the independence and self-determination of the Haitian people. Learn about their partnership with Bri Kouri, read on-the-ground reports from the Bri Kouri team, and find out how you can support their work.  You can also find them on Facebook.

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5 Comments

  1. I admire and congratulate brave investigative journalists as they are a dying breed – literally and figuratively.
    Even here in America much of the investigative journalism has been lost.
    As a livelong reporter, I have done investigative reporting that was written and never published due to the power of wealthy big and medium advertisers here in Michigan – and the political ideals of news and media bosses in Georgia.
    Many of America’s news outlets no longer fund or support real investigative reporting.
    Doing this in other countries where they risk their lives is even more admirable.
    Much kudos and congrats to Black and Cuba cinematographer Ashley Panzera and others involved in this important project and investigative journalism like Bri Kouri Nouvél Gaye (aka Noise Travels, News Spreads), the free Kreyol-language newspaper.

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  2. Jessica G.

     /  September 26, 2012

    The work of Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads) is incredibly important, I think, not only for providing marginalized communities with access to information, but also for preserving their culture. The elitist mainstream media in Haiti excludes a large majority of the people by only printing in French. By providing these Haitians with information in Creole, the language of the majority, Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye empowers them to fight for change and to mobilize to make a difference. The elite are not interested in increasing access to the masses, nor are they working to find solutions to the problems afflicting the nation’s poor. As Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o states in Decolonising the Mind, “Language…is both a means of communication and a carrier of culture” (p. 13). Culture is what frames our experiences, and language is the means for conveying those experiences. Through language, the radical newspaper is able to create a more inclusive society and reflect the culture, values, and beliefs of the majority. Moreover, “Communication between human beings is also the basis and process of evolving culture” (Decolonising the Mind, p. 14). Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye ensures that the progress made in Haiti is a true reflection of the majority’s culture and values. It gives the community the voice and strength to stand up together and participate directly in Haiti’s progress.

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  3. Lacy

     /  October 1, 2012

    “When you’re fighting for Social Justice you’re going to make enemies”

    Wow. This statement from the man being filmed in the trailer fills my heart with sadness but it unfortunately is true. As a graduate student studying International Affairs with a focus on Development I have encountered countless amounts of documents, journals and personal field experience that reinforce this statement. The wealthy top percent of a country do not bring the lower percent to the table on important issues and policy decisions and is a theme that rings out from Haiti, to The Philippines and even here in our own country of The United States. If the country is ever going to recover from the horrible losses that is has faced in the past and move forward it needs all of the help and support that it can get. Haiti doesn’t need money thrown at it resolve the situation, it needs real concrete actors like this group of friends who started the Bri Kouri Nouvél Gaye who give a voice to the powerless. This is their chance to educate the marginalized people of Haiti and open up new avenues for them to express their independence.

    The work that the group of friends at Bri Kouri Nouvél Gaye are doing in Haiti is not only courageous but is also regaining their basic human rights to access of information and power through community.

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  4. My family all the time say that I am killing my time
    here at net, however I know I am getting experience
    daily by reading such nice articles.

    Like

    Reply
  1. Documentary Reveals Heroisim of Independent Haitian Journalists | The Turtle Island Project: Respecting the Earth, Native American and Indigenous Peoples

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