Solidarity between artists: Haïti 2010

 

HAÏTI ACTION ARTISTES

On january 12th 2010, Haïti suffered a devastating earthquake. A few days later the Haïtian artist Elodie Barthélémy, and the French Association Maison des Artistes took the initiative to form a commission to find ways to support the Haïtian artists. When there is a catastrophe somewhere and the international community is sending help, the last group one would think of would probably be the artists.

The IAA Coordinator of Europe, Anders Liden, was asked by the Executive Committee to take part in the commission as a representative of IAA Europe. The commission was called HAA, Haïti Action Artistes, in which experts from fifferent fields brought their skills together. In February 2010, after many discussions, they decided to start collecting art works and made plans for a public auction.

660 works were donated by artists, most of them based in Paris, but also by some thirty Mexican artists. The works were shown in an exhibition in the French Ministry of Culture during three weeks, in August 2010. Most of the works were sold at a public auction on September 25th of the same year.

The Swedish National Committee managed to collect money for the artists too.

In the commission, many discussions took place to know how the money could be most wisely spent. Instead of giving direct contributions to single artists and their family, everybody agreed on using the money for helping the artists to achieve structural changes which would benefit everybody.

For almost three years now, Elodie Barthélémy has travelled to Haïti and discussed with the artists there. To avoid taxes and Custom fees (36%) for imported materials, a house fabricant of house paint got instructions and the means to produce artists colours. In the capital, Port au Prince, a container has been transformed into a shop to function as a cooperative. A shopkeeper has been employed. The container itself was transformed into a public art work by a group of artists selected by their colleagues. It has got the name « Tout Pou Youn » in Creole which means « All for One ». The whole thing was inaugurated on March 11th of this year.

The HAA project is an astonishing example of what can be achieved by a group of dedicated artists in terms of sharing and goodwill in action.

To know more about HAA, please click here: http://haitiactionartistes.org and press release.

 

The artists give their organs
Haïti 2010
Isolated populations
Sustainable development