This dissertation analyzes important changes occurring in a remote Haitian village, which I call Malfini. This case study illustrates current problems facing the Haitian peasantry, focusing on the political relationships that are at the heart of these problems. The three changes are an increased economic stratification among peasant farmers, an increased use of wage work instead of traditional labor organization and a rapidly disappearing environmental base due to erosion and loss of soil fertility. Malfini is located on the margins of the last remaining rainforest in Haiti, and continued environmental degradation will result in a severe loss of Haiti’s biodiversity.
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“The trees fall from time to time, but the voice of the forest never loses its power. Life begins.”
Jacques Alexis, Les Arbres Musiciens (Paris, 1957)
Oral histories are a powerful tool in developing historical understanding
Oral history offers an alternative to conventional history, filling gaps in traditional research with personal accounts of historically significant events or simply life in a specific place and time. Oral histories do more than provide charming details to dry historical accounts. In fact, oral histories help others recapture lived experiences that are not written down in traditional sources.
> Transcripts archive
" Bwa pi wo di li wè lwen, men grenn pwomennen di li wè pi lwen pase l "
The tallest tree says that it sees far, but the seed that travels says that it sees even further.
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