jeudi 5 juillet 2012

Michel-Rolph Trouillot

N. Ménard, 2004
26 novembre 1949 - 5 juillet 2012

Pour marquer le départ d'un grand homme, d'un penseur qui a marqué notre temps et notre monde; pour exprimer notre peine, pour témoigner de l'impact d'une vie sur la notre, nous vous invitons à partager avec nous et avec  le monde, des témoignages, des photos, des citations dans la langue de votre choix. Vous pouvez utiliser l'espace des commentaires ou nous envoyer des mails à pour que nous les ajoutions.

Les familles Trouillot, Morisset, Lévy, Ménard, Séide et Sanon informent le public qu’une cérémonie d’hommage à la vie de Michel-Rolph Trouillot, époux, père, frère, oncle, cousin, ami se tiendra le mardi 17 juillet de 4h à 6h au Centre culturel Anne-Marie Morisset, à Delmas 41.La famille de Michel-Rolph Trouillot sera présente pour célébrer sa vie et son œuvre avec amis, étudiants et collègues.

Shadine Ménard partage une lettre écrite à la mémoire de Michel-Rolph Trouillot sur le site de HIP Magazine. Vous y trouverez aussi deux morceaux chantés par cet homme aux talents multiples.

Rien ne compensera pour moi la perte de cet Homme qui fut à la fois un ami et un mentor. Quand on aura fait le compte: amitié, convivialité, disponibilité à partager réflexions, analyses et théories, il faudra penser comment intégrer l'extraordinaire apport de Michel-Rolph aux sciences sociales dans l'enseignement universitaire en Haïti. 
-Michel Acacia

Mwen gen plizyè jou m’ap chèche fè yon kòmantè sou lanmò yon zanmi, mwen pat ka jwen mo pou sa. Mwen fini pa remake pwoblèm mwen, se reziyen mwen potko reziyen m di “te" pou m pale de li. Mwen te plis abitye pansé va…ap…a…lè Michel-Rolph Trouillot pase nan tèt mwen: “Kisa Wowo a di sou yon gwo nouvèl nan sèn entènasyonal la?; yon kriz politik nan peyi Dayiti? yon liv ki fèk sòti? Menm ekri, mwen te konn reflechi sou sa li ta ka di sou sa. Kifè mwen santi m dwòl lè m di “te” pou’m pale de li.
Men lavi se lavi, fò n sèvi avè l jan l vini a. Wowo te sèvi ak lavi jan l vini a. Menm lè lavi te fè koub sou li, li te gade’l nan je, jeklè. Si refleksyon enteletkyèl ka sèvi pou moun trase chemen yo, mennen tèt yo, Michel- Rolph Trouillot se pi gwo egzanp you moun ka jwenn pou suiv. Se you moun ki te ka brase wòl mari, papa, zanmi, pwofesè, mizisyen konpozitè, powèt, ak yon senplisité ki te fè l parèt tankou nenpòt ki moun òdinè. Yon lè, mwen mande l kijan li fè pou li akonpli tout sa li akonpli yo. Li reponn mwen: "pi gwo fòs mwen se konn feblès mwen.” 
Michel-Rolph Trouillot se yon fòs Ayiti ak tout lemonn entelektyèl la pèdi.
-Claude-Henry Acacia

18 commentaires:

  1. Regine Michelle Jean-Charles @reineayiti6 juillet 2012 à 15:02

    Reading Silencing the Past forever impacted me as a writer, scholar and thinker. Through thoughtfl arguments that cut to the core of power, politics & knowledge production Trouillot taught me that it is possible to write with your head and your heart. This is a lesson I cherish and a model I try to measure my own work against. Anpil honne, anpil respe to a brilliant, powerful voice who transformed academia.

  2. Growing up in Haiti, I was so constantly bombarded with the phrase "Haiti and its international partners", especially during the signing of loans which never failed to make the news, that it became part of the vocabulary.

    How refreshing it was years later upon uttering that phrase to have Michel-Rolph Trouillot correct me when he said "Haiti has no international partners. Haiti has no partners." That simple sentence put everything in perspective for me.

    Haiti and Haitians lost a big brain and an even bigger heart; one that we will sorely miss. May his blessed soul rest in Peace!

  3. Yes, that emphasis on rigorous scholarship and passion characterizes Rolph's work. I was struck by that reading Global Transformations last month. Hughes, that quote is still pertinent today. Thanks for sharing that.

  4. I had the opportunity to meet Michel-Rolph Trouillot in 2000 when I was working on my Masters degree at the University of Chicago. He was on Sabbatical, but attended one of his public talks at the university. While I was familiar with his work at the time, I did not envision the impact it would have on my scholarship until much later as a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley. It was my dear colleague, mentor, and friend, Dr. Claudine Michel, who informed me of his death. We both felt the loss equally and realized we were learning of his death on the one year anniversary of the death of Dr. Clyde Woods, a colleague and friend at UCSB who worked on New Orleans. Dr. Woods made a trip to Haiti with us for the first time in 2010. During one of our important conversations there, he stated emphatically, Haiti is the future. I understood what he was saying in light of the 2010 earthquake in a global era of crisis. Trouillot's work, particular Silencing the Past made us keenly aware of the ways in which Haiti in the era of revolution is very much ingrained in history (past, present, and future) regardless of how history is rewritten to silence this fact. I remember when my father heard the news of his stoke years ago and was deeply impacted by the news. I think he understood it as a kind of intellectual death, the end of a brilliant mind. I am sure my dad will call me in a few days to say "Let's do something to honor his brilliance, his work." As a young Haitian scholar, I like to think that I honor him everyday. My heart goes out to the members of his family, who are also quite brilliant in their own right.

  5. In the Spring of 1994 I was in my second year of graduate school at the University of Michigan when Michel-Rolph Trouillot visited. He presented a draft of what was to become the amazing Chapter 3 of "Silencing the Past," -- "The Three Faces of Sans-Souci." I vividly remember reading the piece, and then the animated, propelling discussion that took place at a faculty house about the piece. It became a kind of charter, or map, for me during the next years, helping me to understand how History and Anthropology (which I was jointly pursuing in my PhD program) could work together, animate each other. At that time Haiti was still rather "silenced" in much of the academic world, but Trouillot's work made it clear that it was an absolutely vital and legitimate place to study as a way of understanding the vastest and most critical of themes in human life and history. As has become clear in the past days, his influence on a generation of scholars was tremendous, and he lives on in many projects, debates, and possible futures.

    Years later, I was in Paris and arrived to eat dinner at Coconnas restaurant in the Place des Vosges. The tables we set out in the covered gallery that surrounds the place. And there, funnily, was Michel-Rolph Trouillot, enjoying a dinner. He smiled and we spoke briefly. He was obviously having a very happy evening, as I was. Since then I have not seen him, but I remember him as he was that night, jovial, slightly intense, in the midst of living and being and changing what was around him.

  6. Dr. Trouillot's book, "Silencing The Past," was instrumental in my pursuit of a PhD thesis on the central role of the Haitian Revolution in the emergence of Black Internationalism in the twentieth century, which I entitled "The Haitian Turn": Haiti, The Black Atlantic, and Black Transnational Consciousness (2012,University of Texas at Dallas). I have never met Dr. Trouillot personally but he has inspired me in countless ways more than I can express here. May his tribe increase!

    Celucien L. Joseph

  7. Roland Bastien -

    I met the Trouillot gifted family through the Valme in the late 60’s- My wife at that time grown up with them( Roro, Joselyne, Evelyne ) – Mammy Trouillot was a lovely great mom and was also supporting young smart artists- Roro became my friend in the late 70’s – Anytime he visited Montreal( it was before I moved to Vancouver) he stayed in our loft–
    I just came back to Nigeria art fair when he visited Solanges. He smoked pipe and had a rigorous method to shape what Haitian culture might be- I was a bit confuse about the way to shape Haitian culture for a new age, when I was excluded from all the possibility they stated on. At that time Charles Aldophe, Gary St Germain and I took the beat generation way, under the guidance of Ted Joans (from his letters) I met in Nigeria Black Art Festival. Solanges was involved to Hinduism and adopted the Alice Coltrane way – My huge loft in St Laurent street, was a temple for new ideas from all the Canadian Art worlds- people came and gone with a glimpse of freedom in their eyes-

    Roro brought a new energy by the way he accepted us without questioning why we dressed like that and used hypnotism to write texts and pills- I was moved when he read creole texts and gave me a Francketienne creole novel. It was a first time a saw creole as a way to say modernism through the manuscript he read ( a scholar historical book, formatted as a poetic material). I did several drawings while he read the text and he selected one for the book. Dany Laferiere used to be there too narrated his novel he never wrote “les dinosaurs”.

    My friends had something in common with Roro - We hate the way Haitian intellectuals (we all had a University diploma at that time) shaped the cultural iconic material for the future- We found that to Hegelian, instead of brutal or expressionistic. I did not want culture to be my new prison. I rejected all cultural icons at that time and hoped imagination will break the cronges. Roro was not agreed with that way, but he found through this form a way to free the consciousness.

    I started to travel as a nomad and do sporadic art works with different cultural icons including Afro Asians - I moved to Vancouver at the end and lost contact with Roro and the Haitian worlds since and just find out from Michelle facebook profile the bad news-

    -Roland Bastien

  8. A great spirit who has contributed to our understanding of History in the same caliber as Paul Ricoeur, Todorov, Hayden Whyte, etc. Thanks Sir for enlightening me with your best-seller book ''Silencing the Past'' whose reading was the point of departure of my doctoral thesis. I never knew you were the author of this wonderful text of the song Imigrasyon tenten popularized by Manno Charlemagne. I used to sing that song during FNEH various political protests(Fédération nationale des étudiants haitiens) right after the overthrow of the dictator, Baby doc. Chapo pou Michelle Voltaire for bringing that up.
    Claudy Delne

  9. I think, Mr. Trouillot done a tremendous job into so many layers in regard of Haiti versus it predecessor to say, the new version Haitians into the third millennium. Mr. Trouillot could reinforced the other side of Haitian Post colonial who may suffered huge deficit on term exposing idea of an ideal by been the nation who took consolidate into is birth. The idea of Chicago and the ideal of Mr. Trouillot versus Haitian intellectuals around the world themselves. (Moise, 2012).

  10. Thank you for this. Professor Trouillot was a brilliant anthropologist and thinker whose ideas need to be heard widely.

    I'm collecting links to memorials and tributes at In Memoriam, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, 1949-2012. I've also begun compiling a bibliography at Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Bibliography.

  11. J'avais 13 ou 14 ans quand j'ai lu pour la première fois Tide boule sou Istwa Dayiti. Premier livre en créole de chez mois, premier vrai contact avec l'histoire de mon pays. Dès les premières lignes j'ai su que plus jamais je ne pourrai lire le manuel des FIC. Et le nom de celui qui m'a permis de jeter un autre coup d'oeil sur mon pays, celui qui m'a permis de mettre du sens à l'expression "aimer son pays", le nom de cette personne que je n'ai jamais rencontrée ne m'a plus jamais quitté. Je n'ai pas de mot pour décrire la tristesse teintée de mélancolie qui m'a envahie lorsque Carolle Charles nous a annoncé sa disparition sur son mur. Ochan pou ou, Mèsi pou tout sa ou ban nou. Pars en paix, ou pati men ou la menm jan ou te la anvan. Sheila Laplanche

  12. Edwidge Danticat8 juillet 2012 à 23:32

    I remember a kind and charming and brilliant and generous man that many among my then young writer and scholar friends wanted to claim as their own. "He is my friend," they would say. "He is my mentor." And when I would see him with one of them, it would seem so obvious that he was both privately and publicly their champion. I remember a kind and charming and brilliant and generous man who when I was a very shy young writer starting out sat across from me and others at lunch at one of the first Haitian Studies Association meetings in Haiti and talked to me with kindness. Later, he came to see me when I was reading at his university and it was like we were old friends. I remember missing his presence when he went out for cigarette breaks and I suddenly understood why so many people wanted so much of his time. Kindness like his was--is--rare. I remain as extremely grateful for his kindness as I am for his work. I hope his passing will encourage new interest in his work, especially "Ti dife", which, along with Silencing the Past and his other works, deserves a whole new generation of readers. My deepest condolences to his friends and family. We have all suffered a great loss, but them most of all.

  13. Thank you all for sharing your memories. Rolph touched many, many lives, and I am sure he will continue to do so. I have to step back from this post every now and then, but I hope to return with photos and quotes soon. Entre temps, I hope that the virtual veye will continue.

  14. Evelyne Trouillot10 juillet 2012 à 19:04

    Je crois que ce qui m’émeut le plus ce sont les témoignages de ceux ou celles qui n’avaient jamais rencontré Rolph et qui parlent de lui avec admiration et respect, et même affection. Plusieurs fois, au cours de mes voyages, j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer des gens qui, apprenant que j’étais la sœur de Rolph et qu’il était malade, me disaient avec ferveur : Surtout, dites lui que nous pensons à lui ! A chaque fois qu’on me pensait la question : « Are you Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s sister ? » je m’attendais tout de suite après à ce cri qui m’amusait et me touchait en même temps: « Oh ! Silencing the past ! ».
    Merci à Tande d'avoir pensé à ouvrir cet espace, merci à tous ceux et à toutes celles qui ont voulu partager leurs pensées et sentiments. Rolph aimait beaucoup la vie et discuter sur des sujets liés aux réalités haitiennes et aux questions sociales en général le rendait heureux.
    Pour nous, dans la famille, c’est un grand vide et je sais qu’il nous prendra du temps pour accepter son absence.

  15. I have been consumed with thoughts of Roro today and what has touched me the most since his death is seeing all the tweets and mentions about him from readers, students, colleagues and admirers online. What I loved the most about him was that no matter how great of an intellect he was to the world, he always remained grounded, funny and loving with his family. He was a great scholar, but an even better brother, uncle and family man. I love and miss him dearly and am sad that he is gone, but am touched that so many others stand together with us in his mourning. We love you Roro. Thank you Tande for this post.

  16. Dieulermesson PETIT FRERE17 juillet 2012 à 13:12

    C'est toute une bibliotheque qui s'en va avec la départ de Michel Rolph...Je ne l'ai jamais rencontré mais je l'ai connu avec son ti dife boule sou istwa dayiti.Qu'il parte avec le sentiment du devoir bien accompli...

  17. Tous les réunionnais(e)s du Québec, se joient à moi pour présenter nos sincères condoléances à la famille de Feu Michel-Rolph Trouillot,aux lecteurs de TANDE. PAIX à son âme haïtienne.

  18. Thanks, Nadève, for making this space available for our tributes. I’m among the many who, as Évelyne has been hearing, never got a chance to meet Michel-Rolph Trouillot but were deeply affected by his works. When I constructed a class on Haitian historiography, designed for California students who little knowledge of Haitian history, I could think of no better way to begin it than with the “Unthinkable Revolution” chapter from Silencing the Past. Though I love the piece myself, suffused as it is with equal measures of passion and dazzling intellect, I was still struck by how powerfully the students responded to it. It woke them up – about Haiti and about the workings of history. When I set out to transform the class into a reader, to give other Anglophones an accessible way to get up to speed on recent scholarship on Haiti, I could think of no better place to start than with an excerpt from the same chapter. I am grateful that I was able to frame my book on both ends with writings from the Trouillot family, since the final excerpt is by Evelyne on the earthquake. Though I regret never getting to meet Michel-Rolph (the reports about personal interactions here are so inspiring), I hope that my book will serve as a worthy postscript to his 1997 essay on Haitian historiography as well as to the 1953 book by Catts Pressoir with Ernst and Hénock Trouillot. Michel-Rolph Trouillot was the towering figure in the field, and his ideas will continue to set the agenda in modern Haitian historiography on so many questions. My deepest condolences go to the whole family. Alyssa Sepinwall