chapter  5
18 Pages

Recalling history and reimagining the future

WithKasia Mika

The disaster's untimely character, manifested in altered subjective perceptions of temporality, the passing of time and everyday objects that become referents of the event, also reveals itself in the ways in which history and the writing of 'new history' are envisaged in the two texts in the earthquake's aftermath. The 2010 Haitian earthquake, as suggest via the works of Martin and Saint-Éloi, has provided a moment of redefinition of the disaster as a closed-off occurrence and of the past as a discursive category and historical construct. On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, eternity lasted less than sixty seconds and forever altered the landscape of a city, a country, and our memory. However it is framed, the sudden and arbitrary character of the experience, which is affirmed in Evelyne Trouillot's remark and explored in detail in Le Tremblement and Haïti, kenbe la!, contrasts with its lasting personal and collective impact.