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THE STORIES

"Ti Cyprien" Storytelling CD released in 2003
Ti Cyprien, "Doktè ya Bezwen". The story "Ti Cyprien" takes place in the 80s and recounts the path of a bright college student from Haiti's School of Medicine, after his father makes the necessary "moves" to get him in college. He resides in a slum of Port-au-Prince, where he is revered as the "first intellectual" and the first doctor of the neighborhood. Professors and other students apparently admire him for his intelligence, although they discretely make fun of his "social skills." Victor, a student from a wealthy family, teams up with him to study. Cyprien is quickly exposed to this family's lavish lifestyle - Texan beef, Miami rice are preferred over local Haitian products. Ti Cyprien never realizes the true nature of this "friendship", until an extraordinary episode sends to jail, tests the "friendship", and gets him to appreciate his relationship with his neighborhood where diseases and unsanitary conditions are devastating his hardworking friends and relatives...

"Dyaspora lang poudre" ("Powdered tongues from the Diaspora")
Coriolan and Barzol, en route to Haiti, observe a loud and eccentric couple at the Miami airport. The jewelry, the boots, the blond hair...clearly set the two "tourists" apart from the crowd. Suspicious, Barzol decides that they are "misguided" Haitian compatriots and attempt to talk to them. "No Haitian, speak English", he is told firmly. Barzol, in disbelief, remains in denial, until a lady runs from a nearby bathroom with a child, asking the couple, in plain and loud Creole, to help her solve a sensitive problem" with a child… Barzol, with a satisfied grin, goes back to "chat" with the tourists, while Coriolan retreats prudently.

Sonson Moun Fou, ou l'Alternative Politique (…Based on a true story)
Sonson was known in the streets of Port-a-Prince as "the madman." Aside from drinking, his favorite activity was to "direct traffic". His behavior -heavy drinking, outrageous statements- clearly spoke to his mental state. The day a Haitian president (Manigras) fell, Sonson offered a creative solution that clearly challenged the credibility of the foreign-educated Haitian leaders, leading Coriolan to speculate that in Haiti, the craziest ones are not always the ones locked institutions or running wild in the streets.

Le Baptême de Capois La Mort (The Baptism of Capois La Mort)
Lucien, innovating with sound effects, recounts the epic battle of Vertieres, where the Haitian troops, under the command of Dessalines, defeated the remaining French troops in Haiti. During this battle, officer François Capois twice led his troops against a French stronghold, loosing his hat to a bullet, then his horse to a canon ball during the attack. The troops -and History- rebaptized him Capois La Mort -Capois the Death.

"Grann Dede" Storytelling CD, by Charlot Lucien, 2007
Introduction
: Lucien uses his keen sense of observation to turn out the most dramatic and the most hilarious stories, in which resilient Haitian women take a central role. From machann fritay (frie dfood sellers) to retailers crisscrossing the Caribbean, and nurses-aides in Cambridge to remote historical figures, Lucien presents powerful composites of women who find themselves negotiating realities more complex than what their daily lives, their jobs or their trades seem to entail.

Madan Lefranc:
Carmen, a hard working nurses-aide in Boston, who is disillusioned with two prior relationships, decides to elope with Mr. Lefranc, a supposedly serious Haitian man she meets while traveling in Haiti. But surprise, Mr. Lefranc in a change of heart, refuses to move to Boston, claiming that his intellectual status prevents him from taking certain menial jobs that immigrants seem to perform in the US. Ultimately the true reasons behind Mr. Lefranc's reluctance are revealed, leading Carmen to reassess what she really values in life and how she can really fulfill her aspirations.

Grann Dede (CD main title)
Granma Dede builds a successful fried food trade in the suburb of Pétion-Ville, where rich clients congregate with their wives, their mistresses or their colleagues. She also supports several children in the neighborhood, feeding them and helping their parents pay their school tuition. Grann Dede saves enough money and secures enough connections to send her son, Ti Fritz, to attend college in Montreal. In Montreal, Ti Fritz assimilates so perfectly that he stops writing his relatives, and even fails to visit his mother during a short trip in Haiti. An unexpected tragedy hits him hard, and leads him to reassess his relationship with his mother

Madan Ayayay
When a political leader attempts to bribe some disfranchised youth from the slums of Gonaives, Haiti's third main city, into burning tires and destroying a few houses to create political agitation, Madame Ayayay, a fried food seller, intervenes. She offers to the youth an extraordinary idea that sends the politician back to Port-au-Prince fuming and changes the lives of the children of Gonaives.

Marie Jeanne Lamartinière
In 1802, during an epic battle that saw 12,000 French troops surrounding 1,000 Haitian troops isolated in La Crête-à-Pierrot, a decrepit fortress on the top of a hill, a woman runs around, haranguing the Haitian troops and distributing food, powder and bullets. She was among the 600 survivors who would pierce the ranks of the French troops in an impossible escape that left several French generals dead or wounded and elicited the admiration of military strategists. "Marie Jeanne à la Crête-à-Pierrot tells her little known story.