Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076692/00001
 Material Information
Title: Teaching Guide: Public Haitian Creole : graffiti, advertising and other messages
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Hebblethwaite, Benjamin
Publisher: Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Teaching guide or lesson plan
Haitian French Creole
Spray painting
Genre: teaching guide
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00076692:00001

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Table of Contents
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        Page 2
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Full Text

Public Haitian Creole

Public Haitian Creole: Graffiti, Advertising and Other

A few thoughts on culture and Haitian Creole instruction
In this classroom and web-based homework learning sequence students take a look at the roles
of graffiti and other textual messages in Haitian Creole culture. The Haitian Creole class that I
teach, both in terms of my own content and the content of the textbooks I employ (Ann pale
kreydl, Istwa Ayiti, Wich nan soley, Tonton Liben, Ti koze kreydl and others), is highly attuned to
Haiti and its cultures. Haiti and its diaspora house many cultures and subcultures commonly
linked by Creole. Culture is a fascinating and mind-expanding part of learning foreign languages.
The culture modules presented in the first year are innumerable here, a few examples from Ann
pale kreydl illustrate: culinary and kitchen culture, craftspeople and their instruments, vodou
terminology embedded in its Haitian use, cockfighting, getting to a funeral from deep in the
mountains, etc.

This activity involves an urban phenomenon in Haiti related to population growth, soil erosion,
rural exodus, the consequent urban sprawl, and... the invention of spray paint. In this activity we
primarily turn to the use of Haitian political graffiti messages (b-d). In order to show that
sanctioned Haitian Creole messages are also extremely important and common in Haiti the
activity involves studying such messaging also (a & e). The condition of women's reproductive
rights is examined in (a) by means of two very different, even opposite signs. This activity always
provokes a most healthy participation from female students and helps everyone in the class
engage with issues of 'reproductive culture.' More conventional, sanctioned messages such as
advertising are included in (e) so as to assure that students understand the prominence of
normative messaging in Haiti.

The activity
To undertake this topic the instructor needs to introduce the concept of graffiti and the displaying
of text in public (advertising, promotion, propaganda, etc.). She might ask, Sa sa ye, grafitia?
Poukisa yon moun ekri graffiti Ozetazini? One poses the question about graffiti in the United
States first in order to get students thinking about what they already know in their native language
and culture. When asked this in class, one student mentioned that 'tagging' or spray painting a
nickname on as many things as possible was common in the U.S. Another student mentioned
making a statement. The tagging phenomenon does not seem common in Haiti, whereas the use
of graffiti to make a statement is common on significant parts of public streets in and around Port-
au-Prince. While this is a point both cultures share in common, the students soon learn that
Haitian graffiti is not always easily deciphered. Correct interpretation often requires firsthand
knowledge of Haitian Creole language and culture. Students needed time to grasp that Lape nan
tet, Lape nan vant, as a political slogan spray-painted all over P-au-P by Aristide's party, invokes
the support of the impoverished Haitian mass (of voters). The fact that 60% of Haitians are
(alarmingly) under the required caloric intake for light work (according to the United Nations),
forms basic and weary background knowledge. This example serves to show that cultural
forms are entwined with the sociological, historical and economic situations of particular

I used the contents of the web pages over three separate periods. In class a student is chosen to
read the graffiti from one photo (as best she can). After students supply information, the instructor
might propose an interpretation or a contextualization if it helps establish deeper meaning. Next,
in pairs, students take turns reading at least 2 other messages (in photographs on the overhead)
and interpreting them. They take turns in pairs. For homework the students answer the 5-8

Public Haitian Creole

questions provided below one page. This is repeated over one or two more class periods. I
reiterate that the activity needn't take more than 10 minutes per class period.
Finally, on the last day of the activity, to sum and follow up, the instructor announces that half of
the class has been hired to provide a group of foreign diplomats visiting Haiti with an inside
perspective on the content of Haitian graffiti. On an overhead they can see all of the messages
they have studied. From the messages "the guide" chooses three and answers questions and
provides explanations. They switch roles with their partner. I advise playing some Haitian urban
music in the background, such as Haitian rap or raga, in order to set an appropriately charged

Studying culture is a fundamental part of language instruction for its role in preparing students to
comprehend and interact intelligently in a foreign world.
Good luck and good teaching!

Public Haitian Creole

Kilti ~ sitiyasyon fanm ann Ayiti
I t,

(a) "Mesye dam f6 planin," P6toprens, Ayiti, 2001

(b) "Ede pwoteje, respekte fanm paske fanm se zouti repwodiksyon," P6toprens, Ayiti, 2001


Public Haitian Creole

1. Kontraste ak dekri de (2) mesay diferan anwo yo
2. Esplike sa "f1 planin" vie di nan (a).
3. Kijan mesye dam ka f6 planin?
4. Nan (b), esplike sa "zouti repwodiksyon" vie di.
5. Dapre kilti ak filozofi pa ou yo, 6ske ou dak6 ak yonn, de oswa pyes nan 2 mesay sa yo?
Foto pa Benjamin Hebblethwaite

Kilti ~ Mesay politik nan Ayiti

(a) I Ilia se ou n ap iann,

tioprens, Aym, zuu i

5k kriminel yo jije anvan eleksyon," Potoprens, Ayiti,

Public Haitian Creole

(c) "Lape nan tet, [lape] nan vant OSA + 2001 = Titid," P6toprens, Ayiti, 2001

1. Dekri enpotans koule yo ki marye ak mesay nan foto (a).
2. Dekri estil let yo nan (a). Poukisa prezantasyon an pwop konsa?
3. Nan pespektiv istwa resan an, "kriminel yo" nan mesay (b) se ki kalite kriminel?
4. Kontraste estil let ak 6tograf ant (a), (b) ak (c).
5. Ann Ayiti ki sans mesay nan (c) genyen an?
6. Ozetazini 6ske nou t apjwenn yon mesay tankou (c) nan eslogan politik nou yo?
7. Dapre ou menm, kijan pou yon moun genyen lape nan vant, lape nan tet?

Kilti ~ Mesay politik nan Ayiti 2

(a) "K(omisyon) E(lektoral) P(wovizwa) ban nou biwo, nou vie vote 19 mas 2000,"
P6toprens, Ayiti, 2001

Public Haitian Creole

ku) Ld. ap IJVVpwda /-)

(c) "21 me (2000) fini net MEDRED," P6toprens, Ayiti, 2

Public Haitian Creole

(d) "7 FEVRIYE 2001: Lape nan tet,

(e) "NOU p ap Day legen nan Datay la,

1. Mesay ki nan foto (a) sijere ki kalite sitiyasyon?
2. Si K.E.P. pa t ap mete ase biwo, ki rezilta sa t ap genyen?
3. Mesay nan foto (b) soutni ki kandida politik? Kijan nou konnen sa?
4. N6t: eleksyon 21 me a te konteste. Poukisa mesay nan foto (c) sanble genyen yon atitid
agresif oswa defansif?
5. N6t: "7 Fevriye 2001" se te dat inogirasyon prezidan Aristid la. Dekri afich (d) a.
6. Foto (e) ap pale de ki kalite batay?
7. Eske egzanp graffiti nou we anwo yo ede oswa nwi sa nou rele demokrasi?
8. Eske graffiti se yon f6m demokrasi?

Foto yo pa Benjamin Hebblethwaite

Public Haitian Creole

Kilti ~ Mesay politik nan Ayiti 3

i Tokyo ave ou pou 2001 ka bon toutbon," P6toprens, Ayiti, 2001

(b) "Koudeta, pa Koudeta,

Public Haitian Creole

(c) "We pa we, 2001 red," Pdtoprens, Ayiti, 2001

a gen jisus san aezoKipasyon peyl a /

5toprens, Ayiti, 2001

1. N6t: "Tokyo" se yon katye defavorize. Kisa jen nan katye sa a vie montre nan (a)?
2. "Koudeta, pa koudeta" nan foto (b) se yon referans ki f6 nou sonje kisa?
3. Kijan nou konnen foto (c) reprezante opinyon opozisyon Aristid la? Konpare (a) ak (c).
4. Kisa ekspresyon "we pa we" ak "red" vie di nan foto (c)?

Public Haitian Creole

5. "Dezokipasyon" nan foto (d) se yon referans ki f6 nou sonje kisa? Eske Ayiti toujou okipe?
6. Ki rap6 genyen ant "jistis" ak "dezokipasyon"?

Kilti ~ Piblisite ak It mesay ann Ayiti

agi original la," Kenskof, Ayiti, 2001

(b) "Mande Poul Ble

Public Haitian Creole

~.14we Laej9~


(c) "Nwel Lap6," P6toprens, Lali, Ayiti, 2001

nonira late pral Tim 5ID la pale, rotoprens, RaTou, Aylii, zuu I

1. Ki kalite sevis gason nan foto (a) ap rann timoun yo?
2. Defini mo "sivik" la nan foto (a).
3. Dekri imaj ki sou mayo a nan foto (a).
4. Kisa ou ap made poul ble a nan foto (b)?
5. "Magi" nan foto (b) se ki kalite pwodui?
6. Eske ou kwe Magi originall" vre?
7. Ki rap6 "Nwel Lape" genyen ak eslogan politik ki te kouran ann Ayiti 16 sa a?
8. Ki kalite mesay eske nou we nan foto (d)? Kijan eske I diferan pa rap6 ak mesay nou deja gen
tan we?