Laura Wagner, curator of the upcoming Ruby exhibit on Haiti’s first and most prominent independent radio station, Radio Haïti-Inter, provides context in this essay for Duke Performances.
Radio Haïti-Inter: Three Decades of ResistanceOpen To The Public
Bringing to life the legacy of Radio Haïti-Inter, this exhibit includes photographs, historical objects, and an immersive audio experience that puts the viewer inside a Haitian household.
Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever is a collaboration between McCalla, Kiyoko McCrae, and the Radio Haiti archive and will be presented at the Rubenstein Arts Center on Mar 4, 5, and 6, 2020. It is is part of Duke Performances’ ongoing “From the Archives” series, which features commissions of new works by artists engaging with materials in Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Radio Haiti Collection
The Radio Haiti collection is part of the Human Rights Archive in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. It is perhaps the most thorough documentation of late 20th century Haitian politics and history, and consists of 1,960 audiocassettes, 1,663 open-reel audio tapes, 5 digital audio tapes, and 37 VHS video tapes from Radio Haïti-Inter, documenting Haitian politics, society and culture from 1957 to 2003 (bulk 1972-2003). Under the leadership of station directors Jean Dominique and Michèle Montas, Radio Haiti was a voice of social change and democracy, speaking out against oppression and impunity while advocating for human rights and celebrating Haitian culture and heritage.
About the Curator
From 2015 to 2019, Laura Wagner worked as the Radio Haiti Project Archivist at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, where she created a publicly-accessible, trilingual digital archive of Haiti’s first independent radio station, Radio Haïti-Inter. She has a PhD in cultural anthropology, focusing on people’s experiences of humanitarian aid and displacement after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and is also a fiction and non-fiction writer. Her first novel, Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go, was published in 2015.