Saturday, January 16, 2010

Remembering Jacmel Too

Today's New York Times has a Lede blog post about a Miami Herald report on the situation in Jacmel, Haiti, the country's arts capital, which sits to the southwest of Port-au-Prince. Jacmel/Jakmèl also suffered considerable damage during Tuesday's earthquake, whose epicenter lay between the two cities. While the media have focused a great deal of attention on the situation in Port-au-Prince, the people of Jacmel are suffering as well. To give one example, an estimated 100 students and teachers were crushed to death when the building housing the Eunasmoh Institute, a technical college, collapsed. Further complicating matters, the road north to Port-au-Prince remains blocked by debris, making it very difficult for rescuers or supplies to get through.

The Times blog post points to this page, set up by students at Jacmel's Ciné Institute, that documents the devastation in that city. Ciné Institute is reportedly Haiti's only film school. According to the Times, the school's building and many of its cameras were destroyed, but all but one of the 60 students survived, and when they returned to the rubble that had been their schoolbuilding, they found six cameras, which some have been using to report on the situation in Jacmel. Its Flickr site, with post-quake images, as well as many photosets of school projects, is here.

Here is a video by student Fritzner Simeus on the aftermath of the earthquake:

Report from student: Fritzner Simeus from Jacmel from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.

And here is one by student Keziah Jean on the post-quake situation:

The Victims In Jacmel : Keziah Jean reports from the field (subtitled) from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.

One person in Jacmel I've been wondering about is an artist named Joanne Florent, whom we met in Santo Domingo several years ago. She was selling t-shirts she'd created featuring Haitian vèvès, along with other handsewn clothing and artwork, and had invited us to visit her in Jacmel. I hope she and her family survived the quake and are doing okay.

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