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27 Jul As the online machine picked up after the original post, I got information out through the Daily Kos, Jet magazine, RYOT and a few others. The mainstream media soon caught on, and I started giving interviews on background to reporters from The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Couldn't. 22 Jan Soon, he's mocking her for exoticizing him—"'Oh, I'm a white girl and I moved to New York and I'm having a great time and I got a fixed gear bike and I'm gonna date a black guy and we're gonna go to a dangerous part of town,'" he scoffs. " And then they can't deal with who I am"—and she's feebly turning. 11 Jan “The real White House: Trump calls Haiti and African countries 'shithole' countries to the face of members of Congress, and uses Norway to prove his racism,” wrote Andreas Wiese, a newspaper commentator who manages the House of Literature, a popular cultural center in Oslo, Norway's capital.

A Film Festival About Writers. Haiti, more specifically the Haitian Revolution, is the reason that Sibylle Fischer and I were destined to meet. I first heard of her recent book on the Haitian Revolution from Caribbean philosopher Lewis Gordon in We emailed each other but did not meet. Then Berlin came calling. It is a pathbreaking study that takes the Haitian Revolution from the margins, where it has been relegated, to place it at the center of the development of western modernity.

Fischer conducted extensive historical and cultural research in archives in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. With her evidence, she makes a compelling and nuanced argument about the significance of race, national and political identities as a reflection of fear and trauma in the new world during revolutionary times.

The book is an in-depth study of the impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Caribbean, especially Latin America Cuba and the Dominican Republicand its significance for our understanding of modernity. In one of our phone conversations, you noted that the Haitian Revolution was a non-event that took pages for you to discover. I had written a long doctoral thesis on 19th-century Spanish Caribbean literatures and the emergence of national cultures.

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Haiti was really not within my purview. When it was all done and I had my title in hand, I took a break, and then another look at the materials. And then it suddenly dawned on me: I had missed the main event. How can you go here the origins of Creole cultures in the Caribbean without considering the impact of the only successful slave revolution in Western history?

But the fact that I had managed to do so much reading and produce so much writing and still not realize that there was an event that would have been deeply traumatic for the Creole elites and must have had a profound impact on later cultural and political developments tells you something about the way the Haitian Revolution has been dealt with or not dealt with in scholarly literature.

It also tells you something about how disciplines are organized—you can read the entire canon of 19th-century Caribbean literature and not find a single reference to the revolution.

This in itself is significant since it goes directly against the kind of Eurocentric provincialism—philosophical and otherwise—that considers modernity something that took place in London, Paris and Berlin, as if the colonies and the slaves somehow belonged to another era and played no role in the shaping of modernity.

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That is just plain wrong. But there is another question, and that one is more tricky: Even if Hegel is thinking about Saint Domingue, does he really narrate—even endorse—the slave revolution? Buck-Morss seems to think so. I am far more skeptical. There is a long-standing discussion among Hegel scholars about how to interpret the obscure ending of the master-slave dialectic.

Somehow the master just vanishes, and the slave seems to come out on top, but how exactly that all works is harder to say.

Buck-Morss herself says that Hegel falls into silence and obscurity at the end of the master-slave dialectic. Well, that sounds an awful lot like what just about everybody else did when it came to the slave revolution in the Caribbean—they retreated into disavowal.

Hegel knows, and at the same time behaves as if he did not. Does learn more here believe both—that the slaves did, and did not, carry the victory over their masters?

Or was it that he had to avert his eyes, as if in the face of a horrifying sight? Now, what does this mean for our understanding of modernity? But it also means that there may be seeds for emancipatory thought and practice within modernity that need Im White And Dating A Haitian Manifestation In Ny Magazine be recovered and considered before we decide to ditch the whole idea. After all, the Haitian revolutionaries were as modern as the institution of racial slavery.

Just take a look at the early revolutionary constitutions and the way they go about establishing racial equality. Modernity DisavowedDuke University Press, Photo by Pedro Abascal. Will you expound on that and how these instances and there were many relate to your argument concerning how fears of blackness truncated modernity? The greatest fear of the white elites in the slaveholding areas was a repetition of Haiti—of another black state. On the one hand, you have an officially ordained silence regarding all things relating to the events in Saint Domingue; on the other, an almost obsessive archival chatter—secret correspondence, spy reports, etc.

Clearly, the elites could not control the rumor mill, but they tried to control access to more institutionalized means of cultural expression and communication. This strategy went much beyond the suppression of specific political messages. In his possession they found a book of drawings and paintings, which was used as evidence against him in the trial.

The book itself appears to be lost, but the trial records give us a description of the pictures, and these descriptions strongly suggest that Haiti was one of his main sources of inspiration. Take a look at Cuba in the first decades of the 19th century: When you look at the archival documents about the foundation of the first Cuban art academy, for instance, it becomes absolutely obvious that it was founded because of racial fears: And as the white mostly Creole elite tries to promote forms of high culture—academic painting and the novel, in particular—the cultural production of the people of color comes to signify barbarism.

But what could they say about his poetry, which was of a popular sort, precisely the more info of stuff the Creole elite wanted to eradicate from Cuban soil?

It turned him into a click the following article of ghost that keeps haunting Cuban culture in ever new debates, plays, films: Your analysis takes a psychoanalytical turn to explore what it is exactly that is repeatedly deeply buried in Dominican collective memory.

You speak of a national state of trauma marred with guilt and betrayal. In addition, you argue that central to Dominican negation was the fact that Haitian occupation meant modern economic and political reforms. How article source you come to these points? If you have any historical sensibility you know that these things leave deep scars in the collective psyche.

But even today, anti-Haitian racism is endemic and the human rights situation of Haitian migrant workers on Dominican sugar plantations is appalling. So it is not Im White And Dating A Haitian Manifestation In Ny Magazine case that we can simply blame Trujillo and be done with it. To give just one example: Somehow the obsession went underground. So what you need is a language that helps you explain displacements and suppressed anxieties of that sort.

Now, what explains these contradictions? This was something the largely white elite could not accept, so history had to be re-invented. So let me just say a few things here. For Trouillot, Haitian history is characterized by a conflict that originates with the revolution: Obviously, the two projects are incompatible, and the state, since the early days of the revolution, adopted extremely authoritarian measures, including forms of unfree labor, to keep the plantations going.

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As a theory of the origins of Haitian authoritarianism this goes a long way. To give just one of the more egregious examples: From the multimedia project Illuminating the Past. Courtesy of the artist. I am curious about your thoughts on the broader political significance of your project.

You provided an extremely important and useful reading … so how, if at all, do you see yourself in making this work more practical and available? The beauty of the project really is its simplicity, in such stark contrast with the structures of disavowal, which are so indirect and evasive, caught up in bad faith. I myself often felt that giving specificity and meaning to silence and disavowal really pushes the boundaries of what is possible within the accepted methods of any one scholarly discipline.

Partly for that reason, I spent quite some time working on a documentary on the Haitian Revolution with the Haitian-American filmmaker Patricia Benoit.

This collaboration was very important for me in the sense that it really forced me to confront questions of why this story matters and how it ought to be told. You can write many scholarly books without go here too hard about these things.

A discussion of communal labor was used to make the point that African origins, parallel developments on both sides of the Atlantic, and prevailing economic conditions should not be confused. To give just one of the more egregious examples: New York, Blue Ribbon Books.

But film is such a difficult medium—so expensive and so entangled with the tastes and habits of the entertainment industry. I found it incredibly frustrating to work under those constraints. So to this day, there is no documentary on the revolution—not a single one.

Im White And Dating A Haitian Manifestation In Ny Magazine

To me the Haitian dilemma is how to make the telling of the past visceral to inveigle a sort of awakening. It is precisely click here of that state of unawareness that January came and went, most newspaper articles questioned just what did Haiti have to celebrate given its years of turmoil.

What would you say to that? In a way the newspapers have been saying the same thing that I heard over and over again as an objection to my work, ever since I began to give talks on my research. Look at Haitian history after Or they would say that the revolution simply created a new elite, turned against the people who fought the revolution, and thus founded a predatory state.

Haiti declared independence inbut the institution of slavery in the Atlantic emerged strengthened from the revolutionary era. The only post-slavery state in the hemisphere was cut off from the rest of the world. As the eminent Caribbean anthropologist Sidney Mintz said, the surprising thing is not that Haiti fared badly, but that it fared at all.

An error has occurred. Urbana, University of Illinois Press. Allison embraced many forms of sincere spiritual expression.

Racial discrimination was officially banned, but in reality differences of color played a crucial role in politics and the distribution of wealth. Dictatorships alternated with learn more here that were liberal republics only by name.

But we cannot allow the overdetermined catastrophe of post-revolutionary Haiti to block our access to one of the most radical attempts to put Im White And Dating A Haitian Manifestation In Ny Magazine equality and freedom from slavery on the agenda of modernity. The revolution, which Trouillot describes as unthinkable to the West and that you read as disavowed gave black people freedom, which came with a very high price tag that Charles X took all the way to the bank.

Haiti paid a total of 90 million gold francs with high-interest loans borrowed from French institutions. In addition, Haiti was diplomatically ostracized for several decades by the global community. In many ways, Haiti is still paying for causing a dis order of things.

There has been so much talk about silence and silencing in recent years, and for good reasons. But we must not lose sight of the fact that Haiti also played an incredibly important role in the history of the African diaspora. At a recent symposium at Northwestern University about the Haitian Revolution the Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne gave a wonderful talk about the significance of Haiti in Africa.

Im White And Dating A Haitian Manifestation In Ny Magazine

James and Ntozake Shange to Walcott and Glissant, have written important works that were inspired by the Haitian Revolution, that any analysis of the silences in the Western record needs to be balanced against the fact that Haiti also occupies a central position in the cultures of the Black Atlantic. It has been like that ever since the days of the revolution: