KITES IN HAITI

Authors: 
Jaclyn Owings
Article type: 
Discourse

It is truly a moment of awe when - above the smoldering trash piles and ruined rubble of homes and livelihoods - kids, living in the squalor of bed-sheet tent cities housing 1,000 or more persons, can create such a magnificent art.

Kites, soaring into the cerulean blue sky, climbing toward the setting sun on the wings of sea breeze, create strong imagery. Add to that image the daily grind of post-earthquake survival in tent cities: no running water, plumbing, or electricity, the likelihood that many of the kids lost a family member in the quake, food is scarce, and on the other side of the camp there are decaying bodies strewn throughout the rubble - and suddenly the imagery becomes more powerful, more meaningful.

The kite is now symbolic of hope and unyielding spirit. Mere refuse plastic, broken sticks, and scraps of unraveled ropes fashioned by hand into a kite, soaring over a desperate struggle for survival, unequivocal loss, and despair.

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Page Number: 
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