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After the Quake: Music, Politics and Spirituality in Haiti

For this exclusive Afropop Worldwide Hip Deep report, producer Ned Sublette travels to Port-au-Prince, where he checks in with bandleader Richard Morse of RAM, and with Lolo and Manzé Beaubrun of Boukman Eksperyans, both of whom produced hotly controversial carnival songs this year. In a country where the president, Michel Martelly, was formerly the number-one dance-music singer, the complexities of politics are felt in music. We’ll look at how vodou and carnival interact to provide a vocabulary for political expression in the tense post-quake atmosphere.  We’ll meet 95-year-old Emerante de Pradines Morse, who was the first singer to perform the songs of vodou as entertainment in Port-au-Prince; we’ll hear from historian Laurent Dubois, author of Haiti: The Aftershocks of History; and we’ll go crowd-surfing in the crush of carnival at Jacmel, the southern Haitian port city that was once a colonial cousin to New Orleans. Produced with support from a Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion, a program of the University of Southern California’s Knight Chair in Media and Religion.