When you think of Haiti, you might think earthquakes, violence, poverty, smoke bombs, rubble. Yes, the country is perpetually in crisis, and that affects everyone there, but Haiti is also full of energy, intellect, bright new ideas and humour. In this podcast series, I try to cut through the tangle of bleak imagery we see in the news, and introduce you to the everyday Haitians living interesting lives in extraordinary times. Theme music: Bayo, by Michael Brun (used with permission and thanks).

Episode 3

Musical roots

Michael Brun. Brun grew up in Haiti, studied in the US, and was preparing for a quiet middle class professional life when a chance posting online turned that all around. Since then he's penned an anthem for the World Cup, recorded with J Balvin, played Coachella and toured the world. He hasn't forgotten his roots, though. He founded a record label, Kid Coconut, to promote Haitian music and mentors young Haitian musicians back home.

Episode 2

Trash Talk

Augustine Desauguste, better known as Blada, grew up next to a pile of garbage, a memory he could never quite forget. After a promising career as a dancer and a move to the US, he knew he had to do something. Against all odds -- not least the resistance of many locals -- he built the first and only recycling depot in a town drowning in garbage. In this episode, we hang out with the employees of the depot and hear Blada's own extraordinary story. Webpage of Kay Blada recycling.

Episode 1

Out of Dictatorship

Harold Isaac has had a front row seat to Haiti's tumultuous politics quite literally since the day he was born. Through it all, he has managed to keep a positive outlook and a wry sense of humour, as well as one foot in a more peaceful world back in Montreal. In this conversation, Harold gives us a neighbour-next-door take on Haiti today and forty years ago, when the last dictatorship fell. Webpage of Radio Kiskeya

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