Open Source Archives

We strive to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and the implementation of progressive and  participatory research methods, with the goal of generating tangible, durable changes in the way research about Haiti is conceptualized, implemented and applied.


Research Hub & Open Source Archives

EKO HAITI Research Hub is a research and knowledge mobilization platform focused on creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and associated research-based learning. We aim to become the intellectual “home” for research about Haiti by creating and providing open access to the largest crowdsourced research archive dedicated to Haiti, by fostering cross-disciplinary research and innovation, and by providing support for progressive research in the form of contextual expertise and training.

“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)
Haiti is the birthplace of a rich literary heritage that deserves more attention. Haitian authors open a window into this Caribbean nation’s vibrant culture and tumultuous history.

EKO HAITI collections include all works, published and unpublished by Anthropologists Gerald Murray, Glenn Smucker and Timothy Schwartz
Dedicated to the late great, Kreyolicious (Katheline St. Fort), our photographs archives holds a large collection of images dating back to the late 1800's .
40 years of development reports, evaluations and survey databases many of which are not publicly available, are buried in drawers, closets, private libraries of NGOs and government donors.


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.



As an independent institute, we rely on crowdsourcing and donations to continue expanding the depth and scope of our archives.  Your contribution enable us to provide open access to a vast collection of ethnographic and research material which in turn aims at fostering further research and contribute to a better understanding of the country.

This thesis explores the ways in which people in Haiti interact with “waste,” both materially and conceptually, and the relationship that this has to socioeconomic inequalities. The poorest members of society have the most intimate contact with discarded materials, excreta, and disease, and the least access to basic sanitation and clean water. The closer one is to the conditions of absolute poverty, the more one is likened to waste in a moral and sanitary sense, and thus poverty is naturalized in a pervasive “culture of poverty” logic that mystifies the historical roots of poverty in Haiti. The bayakou are manual pit latrine desludgers who occupy the most stigmatized position in Haiti because they immerse themselves in human excreta in order to empty pit latrines. They are so maligned that they traditionally work only at night, hiding their true occupation even from their families. The subterranean worlds in which the bayakou work are Haiti’s unseen spaces of abjection. Since the 2010 earthquake and cholera epidemic, some bayakou in Haiti have begun to make a place for themselves in public society, thus disrupting the mechanisms of abjection.

Based on Paul Farmer’s concept of structural violence (1996, 1999, 2004, 2006), I describe how histories of exploitation and discrimination are embodied as preventable illnesses such as cholera and premature death. I use Judith Butler’s (1993) description of the abject and draw from Mary Douglas’s (1966) anthropological study of dirt and pollution in order to understand the category of waste as it is taken up in Haiti. Additionally, I base my analysis on the ethnographic study of waste economies in Port- au-Prince by Federico Neiburg and Natacha Nicaise (2010), as well as data that I collected during two weeks of ethnographic field research, which included interviews with eight bayakou, sanitation professionals in the public and private sectors, and a midwife.