Women on the Edge of Time
Canal d’Avezac, Haiti
2015, oil on canvas 24″(H) x 36″(W)
The canal is located in Camp-Perrin, a town in the south of Haiti. It was built in 1765 by Pierre Valentin d’Avezac, a Frenchman who moved to Haiti in 1748. Its history is very complexed and brings many questions to mind. It was built to help the inhabitants/landowners of the area fertilize/irrigate their land.
When he proposed the idea of the canal the local population (landowners) became very interested and joined forces to make it happen. They overcame major technical challenges given the topographical constraints and limited technical support available on the island at that time.
However, since at that time Haiti was occupied by France, obviously all the physical work involved in constructing the canal must have been done by the slaves they owned! The Haitian slave revolution took place in the early 1800s and Haiti became an independent black nation in 1804. Since then the Haitians have taken over the maintenance and use of the canal.
The canal is still functioning and remains to this day the main irrigation venue for the area as well as a place for family outings. It has also become a big tourist attraction bringing additional income to the area.
Video Short by Yolène Legrand
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