Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

'We sell dreams, passion,' says French Open's Guy Forget

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or is it just a misunderstanding?

Read more

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-01-19

Haitian writers pay tribute to their homeland in Libération

FRENCH PRESS REVIEW (Tuesday, 19th January 2010): Writers express their angers and their hopes in an 8-page supplement in Libération this morning, illustrated by painters from Port-au-Prince

“I am writing to you Haiti,” is Libération’s front-page headline, referring to a supplement featuring essays by Haitian writers on their homeland in the aftermath of the quake.

Especially striking is a painting on pages 2 and 3 of the supplement by Préfèté Duffaut. Entitled “Friends of Haiti”, it was painted in 2006 and shows Haiti surrounded by Canada and France with the US hovering overhead. It’s especially representative of the country’s current dependence on foreign assistance.


One of the essays by Haitian writers in the supplement is “Haiti, where suffering is in good health,” by Yannick Lahens, a literature teacher in Porte-au-Prince. Here’s an extract:

“In this tropical dusk, always so fast in being swallowed up by the night, I could not help asking myself the question that haunted me: Why we Haitians? Us again? Always us? As if we were here in the world to test human limits - those of poverty and of suffering while maintaining through it all an extraordinary capacity to resist and meet these challenges with vital energy, with luminous creativity. I found an answer to my question in the fervour of chants which rose up in the night. It was as if these rising voices were turning their backs on the pain and the despair.”

She describes the next day as she walked through the town with bodies everywhere covered by sheets or by a piece of cardboard or nothing at all. “The trumpets of the Angels of the Apocalypse were all that was missing to announce the end of the world if it weren’t for the courage and solidarity and immense patience of those there which brought us back to what was essential.”

Other articles in today’s French papers:

The town of Léogâne is featured in Libération, le Figaro and le Monde. With 135,000 inhabitants, 80% of it was destroyed. It had to wait for four days before the first signs of aid to arrive.

One inhabitant said in a horribly poignant illustration of the situation, “The only dogs we’ve seen here are there to eat the bodies, not save the survivors.” (Libération)

Also in Libération, there is an interview with a former Haitian Prime Minister, Michelle Pierre-Louis. – former PM of Haiti. She explains how the government is not up to the task at hand.

Martine Aubry, the French Socialist Party leader, has suggested that the retirement age in France be raised from 60 to 61 or 62. Le Figaro leads with this breaking of a taboo in the French Socialist Party which has hitherto refused to consider raising the retirement age.

Le Parisien and the news website Rue89 publish articles on the backlash by journalists’ associations against Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and the Elysée advisor Claude Guéant over their criticism of France 3 journalists kidnapped in Afghanistan. For supporters of the journalists, they were simply doing their job and saying that they took unnecessary risks is inappropriate and “outrageous”.


 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-05-25 Ireland

Coming #hometovote to end the era of abortions abroad

Friday, May 25, 2018: The Irish Times welcomes the end of a "divisive campaign" as voters in Ireland head to the polls in a historic abortion referendum. Irish expats in favour...

Read more

2018-05-25 North Korea

'The art of the fail'? Papers react to cancelled US-North Korea summit

Friday, May 25, 2018: For many papers, Donald Trump's abrupt decision to cancel his meeting with Kim Jong-un is the story of a bromance gone sour. US website The Daily Beast...

Read more

2018-05-24 Ireland

Does the NFL's new ultimatum on kneeling pander to Donald Trump?

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 24: The Irish papers weigh in ahead of Friday's referendum on making abortion more accessible. In New Zealand, a university comes under fire for...

Read more

2018-05-24 Italian politics

What's in a name? France moves to protect regional term for chocolate croissant

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 24: We look at reactions to the appointment of Italy’s new prime minister. Giuseppe Conte is called the “tightrope walker”. Also, Yulia Skripal...

Read more

2018-05-23 North Korea

Philip Roth: Polarising, prolific, provocative

IN THE PAPERS - Wednesday, May 23: Obituaries pour in for Philip Roth, one of America's most polarising and prolific writers. We also look ahead to North Korea dismantling a...

Read more