Tag Archives: Haiti

Laurent Dubois: “Heroines of the Haitian Revolution”

“What is the role of an artist in the face of political repression? What is the place of culture in the midst of injustice and terror? Haitian writer Marie Vieux-Chauvet (1916–1973), author of powerful novels representing the experience of living under the Duvalier dictatorship, confronted such questions throughout her life.  One of Vieux-Chauvet’s earliest novels, Dance on the Volcano (1957), just published in a new English translation, does so by journeying back to the world of plantation slavery and of the Haitian Revolution. The novel is woven around the life of a real historical figure, Minette, a free woman of African descent who overcame the racial barriers of the time to become a star singer on the colonial stage. It focuses on Minette’s struggle to find both an artistic and a political voice, using her story as a crossroads through which to explore broader questions about art, sexuality, politics, and revolutionary change.”

Philippe Girard, _Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life_ (2016)

L’Ouverture’s “equivocation was representative of an age that had to reconcile Enlightenment principles and the labor requirements of plantations. Like three other great figures of the Age of Revolutions — Thomas Jefferson, Simón Bolívar and Napoleon — he had conflicted views on the delicate matter of human bondage.”