Claire Payton, "The Haiti Memory Project: Oral History and the Digital Humanities as Post-Disaster Response"
Sponsored by the Center for French & Francophone Studies & the Haiti Lab
The Haiti Memory Project is an oral history project about the January 12, 2010, earthquake and post-earthquake life. The earthquake is a point-zero in the lives of individual Haitians and in Haitian history; it is a moment that divided time into “before” and “after”. The project attempts to document that change. The result is a collection of over one hundred audio-recorded interviews with Haitians in Port-au-Prince in the summer and fall of 2010.The interviews offer Haitians the opportunity to represent themselves and present their own narrative about what has happened to their country. While nearly all of these interviews include stories from the earthquake, most of them tend to focus on post-earthquake life, particularly life in the homeless camps. The interviews invite the listener to engage with the intimate and unexpected details of life in Port-au-Prince and to explore Haiti in an entirely new way. To learn more, visit the project website.
Claire Antone Payton is a PhD Candidate in the Departments of History and French Studies at New York University, where she focuses on Haitian history. Following the January 12 earthquake she created the Haiti Memory Project and in June moved to Port-au-Prince to carry it out. Claire returned to New York in January 2011 to continue her studies.