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Download Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance eBook

by Edwidge Danticat,Beverly Bell

Download Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance eBook
ISBN:
080148748X
Author:
Edwidge Danticat,Beverly Bell
Category:
Americas
Language:
English
Publisher:
Cornell University Press (December 13, 2001)
Pages:
272 pages
EPUB book:
1190 kb
FB2 book:
1615 kb
DJVU:
1465 kb
Other formats
azw lit txt doc
Rating:
4.9
Votes:
826


Beverly Bells Walking on Fire is extraordinary in that it brings to print first-person narratives of excruciating and harrowing violence, which are at once narratives of survival, resistance and overcoming.

Beverly Bells Walking on Fire is extraordinary in that it brings to print first-person narratives of excruciating and harrowing violence, which are at once narratives of survival, resistance and overcoming.

In Walking on Fire, Beverly Bell, an activist and an expert on Haitian social movements, brings together thirty-eight oral histories from a diverse group of Haitian women

In Walking on Fire, Beverly Bell, an activist and an expert on Haitian social movements, brings together thirty-eight oral histories from a diverse group of Haitian women. The interviewees include, for example, a former prime minister, an illiterate poet, a leading feminist theologian, and a vodou dancer. Defying victim status despite gender- and state-based repression, they tell how Haiti's poor and dispossessed women have fought for their personal and collective survival.

Walking on Fire book. Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and history of resistance. Women in Haiti have played a large role in changing the balance of political and social power, even as they have endured rampant and devastating state-sponsored violence, including torture, rape, abuse, illegal arrest, disappearance, and assassination. Beverly Bell, Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and history of resistance.

Walking on Fire is about the many forms of violence against Haitian. Through the itswa she presents, Bell applauds the resistance and the. solidarity that have enabled women to survive and often move forward. But more, it is about their fight for survival and their resistance. 394 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, March 2003. to these multiple forms of violence. As such, it is an optimistic book-. perhaps too optimistic.

by Beverly Bell & Edwidge Danticat. When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.

Except where indicated, the Alèrte Bélance quotations are from Beverly Bell, Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001). For much of Hector Hyppolite’s life story, I am grateful to Selden Rodman’s The Miracle of Haitian Art (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1974) as well as Selden Rodman’s Where Art Is Joy, Haitian Art: The First Forty Years (New York: Ruggles de Latour, 1988).

Foreword by edwidge danticat. Published by: Cornell University Press. InWalking on Fire, Beverly Bell, an activist and an expert on Haitian social movements, brings together thirty-eight oral histories from a diverse group of Haitian women.

Connect with Beverly Bell and Other Worlds! . Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and history of resistance

Connect with Beverly Bell and Other Worlds! Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and history of resistance goodreads. Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and history of resistance Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and history of resistance See All.

Bell, Beverly, 1962-. Brings together thirty-eight oral histories from a diverse group of Haitian women. they tell how Haiti's poor & dispossessed women have fought for their personal & collective survival. Bibliographic references. Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-258). Source of description. Print version record.

Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and too-often-overlooked history of resistance. Women in Haiti have played a large role in changing the balance of political and social power, even as they have endured rampant and devastating state-sponsored violence, including torture, rape, abuse, illegal arrest, disappearance, and assassination.

In Walking on Fire, Beverly Bell, an activist and an expert on Haitian social movements, brings together thirty-eight oral histories from a diverse group of Haitian women. The interviewees include, for example, a former prime minister, an illiterate poet, a leading feminist theologian, and a vodou dancer. Defying victim status despite gender- and state-based repression, they tell how Haiti's poor and dispossessed women have fought for their personal and collective survival.

The women's powerfully moving accounts of horror and heroism can best be characterized by the Creole word istwa, which means both "story" and "history." They combine theory with case studies concerning resistance, gender, and alternative models of power. Photographs of the women who have lived through Haiti's recent past accompany their words to further personalize the interviews in Walking on Fire.

  • HeonIc
This beautifully written book tells the stories of 38 women. They are stories of challenging lives, filled with courage. It's an uplifting, hopeful book.
  • Opithris
Now is a good time to read it, if you're thinking about political dissonance. It can be kind of triggering, though, and a lot of the stories are heart-wrenching.
  • catterpillar
A collection of truly moving stories from the women of Haiti. With excellent introductions to the historical context, these narratives are poignant and challenging. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the people of Haiti.
  • Delirium
I love this book. It is a great book with amazing stories of resistance and strength. A must read for all women.
  • SadLendy
I've been to Haiti and this book really made an impression on me...it tells the stories of so many women, in their own words and helps to explain many things that I have suspected about the very hard lives of the Haitian people and the women in particular.
  • betelgeuze
Although the interviews in this book are somewhat dated, much of what is presented is still representative of the status of women in Haiti. Women in Haiti are still bravely fighting the same battles, with the addition of earthquake-related challenges and several new public health concerns. If you're looking for specifics of the situation of Haitian women today, you will need to supplement the material in this book, but it remains a viable source for understanding long-term societal concerns. I would rate it a classic in the field.
  • Fordg
Beverly Bells Walking on Fire is extraordinary in that it brings to print first-person narratives of excruciating and harrowing violence, which are at once narratives of survival, resistance and overcoming. Bells book is effectively an edited volume of (mostly poor, mostly non-literate) Haitian womens testimonies about life in Haiti during and after the coup-etat against Jean-Bertrand Aristide (1991-1994), framed by Bells contextualizing analysis. Entering the anthropological conversations about everyday acts of resistance generated by James C. Scott (1990) Bells central argument is that Haitian women engage in resistance, or "the negotiation of power by the weaker against the strong," in many ways that are usually overlooked, and that "the definition of resistance is expanded to include any act that keeps the margins of power from being further encroached upon, even where the protagonist cannot expand those margins." Trapped at the bottom of a system of structured inequality, "if [a woman] does no more than maintain her resources and rights in the face of attempts by other people, institutions, or systems to deny her them then she practices resistance." (p. 5)
Most of the women featured in the volume are members of one of the loosely organized coalitions of grassroots groups known as the "popular movement." Each woman, then, is engaged in some aspect of political organizing, collective action or cooperative living. A central theme in the women's narratives is that it is through collective efforts that meaning-making analysis is forged and dignity is recovered. In Bell's book, poor Haitian women come to an understanding of their situation, their victimization and themselves, that allows them to recover the selves that have been traumatized. It is this transformative process that the women in the book undergo--by speaking their stories to her comrades in collectives and, one senses, in recounting their narratives to Bell. Because of this transformation operating in most of the stories, the tone of the volume is often celebratory, even optimistic, in the face of relentlessly harsh realities.
One extraordinary story is that of Tibebe ("little baby"), presented in a section titled "Resistance as Survival." A product of the rape of her mother, a servant, by her employer's son, she is born on a street corner and never issued a birth certificate or a proper name. She is given away by her mother to be a restavek, a child slave. When her biological aunt sees her as an older child, she realizes Tibebe is a relative, and gives her the name--and the birth certificate--of her biological father's legitimate daughter, who has just died. At the end of her father's life the family abandons him in his loss of fortune and it is Tibebe who pays for his funeral. Tibebe is finally taken to a women's group, where, she says, "They made feel like I exist in society. I became a person." (p. 44) Exemplifying the problems of structural poverty, the child slave system, illiteracy and violence against women, this first-person narrative presents primary source evidence of the local and the specific within the contextualized analysis Bell brings to bear on the structural and systemic.
Bell's methods are noteworthy: she develops a process of interviewing poor members of what she loosely terms the "women's movement," travelling to women's dwelling places and recording their stories in Creole. She holds a small tape recorder and invites: "Tell me anything you want about your life, about what it's like to be a Haitian woman." ( p. xv) After transcribing and editing the interviews, Bell meets them again to read back their words, and they work together to reshape the text to their specifications. The results--oral histories, testimonies--are highly constructed and edited, but the important point here is that they are edited in collaboration with the subjects themselves. This methodology is time-intensive and problematic--from the point of view of the tradition of single authorship--but it addresses problems that have long vexed subaltern studies in that it presents stories authored and edited by poor women themselves. If each narrator performs a pattern of redemption of sorts--she was a hopeless victim but now she is a dignified human being who is oppressed yet politically aware--then perhaps that is ultimately the evidence for the book's message. It is through collective association and narrative construction (meaning making) that the oppressed and victims of violence--can regain their humanity and negotiate power.
Another truly extraordinary story is that of Alerte Belance, whose narrative is presented in a section entitled "Resistance for Political and Economic Change." A grassroots community organizer who spoke out in her poor neighborhood against the 1991 coup d'etat, Belance was kidnapped and brought to the infamous "killing field" of Titanyen, outside Port-au-Prince. Hacked in the head and arms with a machete, Belance was left for dead but managed to survive, one arm severed, face and tongue cut in half. "They killed me that night in Titanyen," begins her story. (p 104) She was attacked by members of the paramilitary group FRAPH, who were financed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to destabilize Aristide's government. (p. 13) She has since filed a lawsuit against that organization and is supported by several international human rights groups. It is Belance who is given the last word in the volume, and she extends the books argument by speaking directly to enfranchised North Americans: "You who are not victims, you should lend a hand. Because many hands make the burden light." (p. 234)