[Received the following e-mail recently from my friend Lesny JN Felix, a Haitian-American artist based in NYC. Mr. Felix has released a series of Valentine’s Day greeting cards through etsy.com, which is selling to help raise money for Haitian relief efforts. I’ve kept abreast of his career since walking into an exhibition he shared in the Wildwood District during Art Basel Miami 2007; sadly, it only now occurred to me that the blog makes a nice outlet for the copious updates I get from the dozens of artists/venues I’ve encountered, there and elsewhere.
You’d have to be comatose to have missed coverage of the devastation in Haiti, a tragedy that has probably only begun to unfold. I’ve resisted the urge to opine as politics should be put aside, for now, as the world struggles to keep an awful situation from getting even worse. One might have thought it unthinkable that two of the worst natural disasters in human history (three, if you could the large-scale impact of Katrina) would occur in the 21st century, just a few short years apart. It’s a sobering thought that suggests more, maybe worse to come.
But nevermind that, for now. The serious conversation that Americans need to have about Haiti, and hemispheric relations in general, can wait until we’ve neutralized the two most immediate threats in Haiti now: 1) More death through lack of food, medicine, clean water and sanitation, not to mention the infrastructure needed to get the stuff where it needs to go; and 2) The very real, yet mostly unacknowledged possibility of civil war in Haiti, if not outright anarchy of the sort we’ve seen far too much of in the African Diaspora.
Haiti’s government, always fragile to the point of nonexistence, suffered major losses of irreplaceable personnel; the calamity at its UN mission is a case in point, as well as the Presidential palace, which is widely regarded as a crucial totem for that country’s hopes and dreams–hopes and dreams that have now been utterly destroyed for at least a generation to come. The goverment has lost authority and credibility, given the atrocious building standards permitted in a country that takes regular structural abuse from hurricanes. It is only the comprehensive scope of the damage, and the presence of international interests, that prevents the emergence of entirely new power centres. At best, those forces could coalesce and force a revolution (which the US would attribute to Socialism and act to nullify); at worst, the worst.
Mr. Felix is just one among the many members of a proud Haitian-American community that is that country’s best–maybe only–hope of a stable, secure, serious effort at recovery, and it is in America’s best interests that we support him, and everyone else working on their behalf. You can also contact Felix directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Best Wishes, Flex/Lesny JN Felix
VALENTINES DAY SPECIAL FOR LOVERS ABROAD AND GOING FORWARD
Click below to purchase a greeting card to help support the people in Haiti
Forward to a friend and loved one
L.E.S/East Village and Crown Heights Artist since 2004