This is my fourth attempt at writing this paper. While everything is clear in my head, I can’t seem to find the best way to express myself. I get caught up in this fear where confessing feels like stripping down. And talking about Haiti tends to snatch away all my objectivity. Why? Because Haiti is the country of my heart and my soul. It is this land where I see myself growing old. It is this country that I will teach my children to love and respect. It was this land that taught me to forgive, to resign myself, to be courageous, to never stop trying and to love.
I loved Haiti when I had to talk about it after January 12th. I loved Haiti when people were still living under the tents. I loved Haiti after the many failed elections. I loved Haiti in every situations, with the bad decisions, with the fears, the protests, the 2 carnivals a year. I loved Haiti with the blackouts, with the roads … no, no road. I loved Haiti with the 1 dollar-40 gourdes exchange rate and I love it with the 1 dollar-100 gourdes exchange rate. I loved Haiti, when the Prestige beer was sold at 25 gourdes and I love it with the concerts at $ 100 USD. I loved Haiti with Chikungunia, with the UN and its cholera. I loved Haiti without knowing why. I loved it when I had to leave it, and I loved it every time that I had to come back. Because when I have to talk about Haiti, every time I have to explain without knowing why, I remember that I know how to forgive, that I know how to resign myself. I remember that I am brave, I never stop trying and I’m able to love.
But I sometimes rebel against nonsense. Against little things. Against a blocked road, against the flag being misused, against the “Miss Universe” being cyber bullied over some grammar mistakes. Or, against those artists who think they are superior because they have the opportunity to travel. Let’s talk about travel. Sensitive subject in Haiti. As it is an important part of my blog, I thought it would be interesting if I were to address some of the issues linked to it. Because in Haiti, when we talk about travel, we must think about mass emigration, we must think about the boat people, those who cross the entire American continent to get to the United States and find themselves stranded on the Mexican border, we must talk about the Dominican Republic, about Chile, about those who today face the TPS dilemma. But as simple as it looks, talking about those issues means to talk about a failed state with bad economy, lame politics, and where people are left hopeless and without opportunities. This is not what I signed up for when I started Hello-Crepuscule. It goes against our principle. Hello Crepuscule reveals the dream, it is the possibility to say that as long as the sun will rise, there will always be the possibility to create. So if I can not address the True causes that push my compatriots to wander from country to country. Let me vent and scream my disagreements with those artists who perpetuate the dictatorship of the American visa, selling the dream that defines success by your ability to perform in a little bar in Brooklyn and thus far minimize the work of those who are able to fill a room at carrefour and make an entire youth dance.
In a country where we have the mentality of “leaving at all costs”, where the people are ready to give up family and friends to take a chance with the unknown, with all these problems related to the fact that we are badly treated at the international level, but we are still persuaded that it is better to be denigrated by strangers than by our compatriots, I find it insulting that an artist finds it convenient to use his visa every time as a weapon to attack other artists. It is an offense to all these artists who do not have the possibility to travel, but worse, to all those Haitians who are denied visas or who know that day after day, they will never have the opportunity or the possibility to leave this little piece of land to which they find themselves attached.
I do not criticize those lucky enough to be able to explore other horizons. And even better if their art allows them to visit the world. Nor do I criticize those who are proud of their success and feel the need to express it. I do not even criticize this new beefing trends that are spreading more and more, and whose only intention is to socially destroy the competitors, or to feed the youth with obscenities, without any intellectual input. To be honest, I’m not criticizing yet. Art should be without limits nor restrictions in its forms of expression. I just wonder when our creative capacity, our source of inspiration has dried up so much that our only way to make buzz is to make fun of a compatriot who does not have a visa.
When will our hit-makers realize that even our senators are so afraid of losing their visas, that they can not pass laws that benefit the country without Uncle Sam’s approval? What if we made a clash about that? When will our rappers decide to talk about Chile? Not by mocking our brothers who go there, but by talking about the fact that since 2016, in terms of money transfer to Haiti, Chile is in second position after the United States? A contribution to our economy of more than 36 million dollars¹ in 2016. Since we’re talking about traveling, what about the fact that a France-Haiti round trip plane ticket costs nearly 2000 euros, while the France-Dominican Republic only costs 1000? Meanwhile The Dominican Republic is on the other side of the island. When did rap become so lazy that our young artists refuse to tackle the real problems? Or, has the leveling down finally gnawed at one of our last pillars of expression: music?
I will continue to sell dreams. No, I will continue to sell the opportunity to create, informing about the beauty and possibilities of traveling. But if you have the chance to visit other countries as an artist, continue to sell the good side of Haiti, continue to educate the world or at least the fifty Haitians that would fill the small bar where you are performing in downtown miami because like everyone else they are afraid or do not feel ready to pay a ticket of 2000 euros to come show support to these artists who do not have the visa yet. So please, remove this condescending tone, this mockery. For you, it may seem trivial, or just light to joke about these artists who like the mass of our 12 million compatriots do not have the possibility to travel. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. And that would be tantamount to say that even you, as an artist, you minimize the extent of your influence or underestimate your talent.