What is an Earthship and how do they relate to how we can help assist Haitians in Haiti achieve self-determination?
Today is the second anniversary of the catastrophe in Haiti. Three hundred thousand people lost their lives during the quake and since then, the circumstances are still shocking. 1.5 million people were homeless as a result of the 7.0 quake and today there are still a half million people living in tents, barely surviving in abject poverty. Of the 4.5 billion dollars of international donations to NGOs to help the Haitian people back on their feet, only 2.4 billion dollars has been delivered. According to the Associated Press, less than a penny of every dollar pledged has been delivered to the Haitian government for use in assuaging the misery of displaced Haitians.
ACD has been working with ally groups to help document and disseminate the stories of Haitians directly to our global community through our project “Ayiti Solidarity.” The latest part of that has been a series of dialectic and artistic events that focus on unlearning our dominant history to reinspect what we have been fed by the same system that has helped create the human tragedy in Haiti that preceded the natural disaster. We are highlighting and unearthing the achievements of Haitians, Haiti’s antiquity and contributions to global society as well as lionizing the nation’s national heroes. That event series is called “Lekol” (school in Ayisen Kreyol). We are currently planning the follow up event to the first Lekol event that took place at Yippie Museum/Cafe on December 17th, 2011. *audio & visual portions of that event will be available right here soon.
This is all in an effort to counter the traditional bureaucratic and kleptocratic methods of aid & assistance that are continuing as we speak.
Our most immediate goals are to raise funds to send two young Haitians, Schneither and Peterson Nogais, return to their existing schools and to get to Haiti to assist in the documentation of the build of an Earthship structure that will serve as either a school and recreation center or an orphanage.
The build will begin in April, the exact site is still be determined and will be known by the end of this month. We are working closely with Marita Mariasine, the creator of The Haiti Projects, who has been responsible for bringing the Earthship Biotecture crew to Haiti to create a model, train 30 interns, and continue to plan sustainable housing projects in communities where they will be built. In each place, during each build, local residents are trained creating lasting employment and skill training aside from sustainable housing and global networking.
This movement is the antithesis of the vamporitic activity of the majority of NGOs that are now operating in Haiti. This is the connection of Haitians from outside of Haiti and those of like minds with Haitians in Haiti to actively move towards a position of self-determination.
What you are looking at (the above picture) is a blueprint for the Earthship that was recently built in Sierra Leone, Africa. The same model will be built in Haiti starting in April of 2012. Please go to www.earthship.org/africa to get details about that build, then check this link for the recent model built in Haiti.
For general information about the inception of the method of Earthship Biotecture and information on its founder, Michael Reynolds, please watch, Garbage Warrior, the full length documentary:
ACD ally Diasporic Travels, an independent media group based in Toronto, also has a first hand witness account video filmed last spring that we will be posting soon hosted by Marita. Please keep checking our page for that post.
Please leave a comment here if you are interested in getting involved in this work and thank you for your time and attention.
Media Artist, ACD Media