The other day a friend from my high school posted a quote in Creole on Instagram. It went something like this: ‘Exile is not going away but staying home and no longer recognizing your life or your country.’
The family group chat on Whatsapp flashed the word ‘bbq’ last week and for a moment I thought, ‘Oh nice, they’re having a get-together.’ The level of my disconnect, sitting in London reading texts from Haiti is great. BBQ is the war name of a kidnapper and gangster who’s now laid siege to the entire diesel supply of the country.
Hospitals, which run on diesel charged generators are shutting down, as are factories and schools. Soon mobile service will be shut down as well. BBQ blackmails the government in press conferences held in broad daylight on a podium in the heart of his fiefdom, Cite Soleil, a sprawling, hellish agglomeration with more than a million inhabitants. He speaks directly to the camera, with no mask, his automatic rifle slung across his chest, a Haitian flag hung on the wall behind him.