La Red Dominicana de Culturas Locales [The Dominican Network of Local Cultures] presents the artistic/cultural event of greatest importance in the history between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Dubbed "Caravan Cultural de la Isla" in Spanish and Karavan Kulturèl Zile in Creole, this event takes place from July 21 to 24, 2011. Its goal: “to promote cultural exchange and peace between the two nations.”
Roldán Mármol, general producer of Caravana Cultural, says that, facing the catastrophic events that took place in Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Cultural Network “proposes solidarity action based on the arts, human contact, and collective creation to contribute to the emotional recovery and social reconstruction of our brothers/sisters, the Haitian people.” Mármol—singer-songwriter and cultural researcher—articulates the meaning and importance of the activity, explaining that “more than a symbolic event of high impact, this meeting seeks to trigger an extensive and deep process of rapprochement and joint work between artists and cultural managers from the island, based on awareness, appreciation and mutual respect, where they can freely express their feelings, traditions, dreams, and development projects, founded upon social equity and triumph over poverty.”
More than 100 artists, together with representatives of socio-cultural institutions, will travel from Santo Domingo to the heart of Haiti, playing in communities like Jimaní, Fond Parisien, Croix-des-Bouquets, and Port-au-Prince. Activities include creative workshops for children and young people in the camps for displaced persons and other manifestations combining music, dance, theatre, painting, photography, literature, and film. Events culminate on Saturday, July 23, with a big concert at Champs de Mars, in front of the National Palace, with more than 100 Haitian artists.
The Cultural Caravan of the Island will declare the route between Jimaní and Port-au-Prince as the “The Route of Solidarity,” encouraging the beginning of a new relationship on the island based on fraternity and mutual support.
At the organizational level, this initiative has the support of the Haitian Committee of Coordination and a set of institutions and agencies, such as International Doctors of Germany, the General Directorate for Multilateral Cooperation, the European Union, Haiti’s Ministry of Culture, Cooperación Española, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, the Department of Aviation and Ports, and the Jesuit Service for Refugees and Migrants.