Story posted October 25, 2011
Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars Of The Global Economy
An inside perspective on Haitian women on globalization, Haiti's current crisis, and the resilient women challenging this system.
Includes an after the earthquake video update, introduced and followed by a forum with Professor Mark Schuller, co-director and co-producer of the documentary.
Dr. Mark Schuller, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology at York College (CUNY), and his team, have created a unique documentary featuring the struggles and strengths of women’s organizations in Haiti, the main focus of his longstanding research and activism in the area.
Presented through the lives of five courageous Haitian women workers, Marie-Jeanne, Solange, Frisline, Thérèse and Hélène, and narrated by famous Haitian writer Edwige Danticat, Poto Mitan gives the global economy a human face. Each woman’s personal story explains neoliberal globalization, how it is gendered, and how it impacts Haiti’s inhumane working/living conditions, violence, poverty, lack of education, and poor health care. Through their collective activism, these women also demonstrate that despite monumental obstacles, collective action makes change possible.
Poto Mitan’s inspiring story has been widely screened and critically acclaimed across the Caribbean and the US, both in its original version and with the additional video on the protagonists' lives in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
The Department of Romance Languages and the Latin American Studies Program are honored to host Prof. Mark Schuler for this screening. The experience of producing the movie, which was initiated upon the direct request of the women who used to be his object of research, is quite compelling. Like the movie itself, where women’s own reflections are supported by interviews with Haitian NGO activists, government ministers and scholars providing economic and political context, Prof. Schuller’s presentation offers a combination of acute analysis and the life-changing experience of having been touched by these women’s hardship and resilience.
Poto Mitan is a production of Tèt Ansanm Productions, in collaboration with Renegade Pictures, Inc. and the Center for Black Studies Research, University of California—Santa Barbara. More information about the movie is available at http://www.potomitan.net/
This event is possible with the support of the Africana Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies Programs, the Departments of Film Studies and Sociology and Anthropology, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Bowdoin Haitian Alliance
Like the movie itself, where women’s own reflections are supported by interviews with Haitian NGO activists, government ministers and scholars providing economic and political context, Prof. Schuller’s presentation offers a combination of acute analysis and the life-changing experience of having been touched by these women’s hardship and resilience.