chapter  6
26 Pages

Navigating through the rubble

WithKasia Mika

The immediate events associated with the January earthquake extended well beyond the confined moment and also the location of their occurrence. The January 2010 earthquake was a highly specific disaster characterised by its postponed future impact yet bearing some resemblance to past geological ruptures. The aesthetics of Laferrière's collection suggests the impossibility of establishing, at least initially, any comparisons or clear links between the before and after of the earthquake. In Rubble: The Search for a Haitian Boy by Sandra Marquez Stathis, the contemplation of Haiti's pre-earthquake past, present devastation and future forms of reconstruction takes the form of a personal account of the narrator's different journeys through Haiti's urban and rural landscapes. Rubble's insistence on the omnipresent and all-encompassing devastation of the capital seems, paradoxically, to reposition the earthquake as an urban, 'non-natural', event conceptualised primarily through the visible material devastation of the capital that it had caused.