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Through the eyes of Haitians  

“Within the sacred space of disaster recovery, we have seen how survivors have been able to reclaim and interpret the disaster story as their own.” — David Barnhart, PC (USA) Director and Producer

David Barnhart has a unique calling within Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He’s a storyteller.  More specifically, Barnhart is a director and producer of documentaries such as Kepulihan: Stories from the Tsunami, and he’s often called to disaster areas by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) to connect with those affected.  He often provides an outlet for those who simply want to tell their story.

“It has been my experience that stories have the capacity to heal, connect people, and reveal our common humanity across cultural, religious, and socioeconomic barriers and boundaries,” he recently wrote.

Scott Ippolito poses so a "reporter" can practice using the flip cam - Photo Credit: David Barnhart

Barnhart, with the help of cinematographer, Scott Ippolito and editor, Joshua Borger, is now working on a new project following the lives of Haitians impacted by the 2010 earthquake.  As part of that effort, the trio is approaching storytelling in an extraordinary way.  They have provided flip cams to survivors. (See inset for “reporter” script.)

“Through the Flip Cam Story Project we hope to empower survivors to document their own stories of healing, struggle, and transformation by placing the cameras and storytelling in their hands,” Barnhart wrote.

“[This] enables them to move from being objects of a disaster to active subjects of a daily, unfolding story of recovery.”

Portions of these stories will be shared in the coming weeks, months, and years on the General Assembly Mission Council’s Haiti web page.  Below is a first look at the project as those who will act as “reporters” in Haiti are shown how to handle interviews and use the flip cams.  We hope you’ll accept the invitation to learn more about the people of Haiti in a way rarely experienced and follow this one-of-a-kind project.

Watch the reporter training session

Reporting from Haiti

The below “script” was given to each participant taking part in the Flip Cam Story Project. The portions in English are followed by Creole, the native language in Haiti. Barnhart and Ippolito also trained each person on how to use the cameras:

You are a reporter on the ground who is telling the story of earthquake recovery from your perspective and those of your family and community. The 'story' of recovery is not just facts, but reflections about progress, struggles, hopes, challenges, achievements, and how things are changing every day. What steps and progress do you see? What struggles and challenges remain? Share the story of day to day life and recovery in your words and the reflections of other survivors in your community.

You are a reporter on the ground who is telling the story of earthquake recovery from your perspective and those of your family and community.

Ou se yon jounalis, yon jounalis lakay epi nou bezwen pou ou rakonte istwa ou a ansanm akistwa kominote ou a. Istwa sa yo, se istwa sou ki jan n ap rekipere apre tranbleman tè a. Nou bezwen pou nou rakonte istwa sa jan nou menm nou wè l. Nou pa bezwen konnen sa lòt mounpanse, nou bezwen konnen sa nou menm menm panse, sa nou menm menm ap viv, esperyans ou menm ak esperyan fanmi ou, ak esperyans kominote ou.

The 'story' of recovery is not just facts, but reflections about progress, struggles, hopes, challenges, achievements, and how things are changing every day. What steps and progress do you see? What struggles and challenges remain?

Istwa nou bezwen pou nou rakonte a, se pa selman sa k ap pase, sa k ap fèt. Nou bezwentande tout sa n ap reflechi a, tout sa nou panse. Sa nou panse sou pwogre k ap fèt, sa noupanse sou lit nou a, sou espwa nou genyen yo, sou defi nou genyen epi sou sa nou gentanakonpli. Nou bezwen konnen sou ki jan bagay yo ap chanje jou an jou. Ki sa nou wè k apamelyore? Ki objektif ak defi ki rete?

Share the story of day to day life and recovery in your words and the reflections of other survivors in your community.

Nou vle pou nou pataje lavi nou a, chak jou. Nou vle tande ki jan rekiperasyon ap mache pounou. Nou vle tande pwòp pawòl nou yo ansanm avèk tout reflechisman lòt moun nankominote ou yo, sa tout moun ki te siviv eveneman terib sa a, ki sa yo wè ak sa yo pan

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