Our fourth screening was at a camp on Route Delmar 33… 3000 people living in incredibly tightly packed tents on a football pitch.
The third short film of the screening was “Hedgehog in the Fog” made in 1974 by Yuri Norstein (the Tarkovsky of children’s animation!). Have a look – you won’t be disappointed. As the end credits rolled the rain came down, hard, the crowd of about 150 ran for cover, and we had to abandon the screening, and save the equipment.
This camp is one of the most organised we’ve seen but after half an hour many of the tents were flooded. Everybody we meet here is talking about the coming Rainy Season and what it will mean. No one seems to be building proper drainage ditches or latrines. When the real rains come sewage will overflow, disease will follow and life in the tent cities and camps which is already hard will become unbearable. I asked Joseph Hillel a Haitian/ French Canadian volunteer (see previous entry) why no one is preparing for the rainy season? Because people want to believe the camps are temporary. The owner of an athletic club, for example, doesn’t want drainage ditches and latrines dug into his football pitch. How can people think the camps are temporary? Because huge new re-settlement camps with facilities are being built on the outskirts of the city. We drove past one near the airport which is supposed to re-house people from the central Champs Des Mars area. But why aren’t people moving out there? Because people who have lived all their lives in a certain neighbourhood don’t want to be moved to a piece of wasteland outside the city.
Tomorrow we’re going to go shopping for some kind of shelter for the projector and soundsystem.