D.P.M-KANNTÈ :
YON PON ANT FIKSYON AK REYALITE

Emmanuel W. Védrine

Haïti en Marche, Vol. XI, #1, fevriye 1997
 

D.P.M-Kanntè se yon bèl travay kote dramatij Jan MAPOU bay teyat nasyonal la yon lòt dimansyon. Zèv sa a se yon tranch nan peripesi pèp ayisyen ki pral chache lavi lòt bò dlo men, yon chache lavi ki detwi lavi. D.P.M-Kanntè se yon trajikomedi, li trajik e komik alafwa. Byenke tablo pyès sa a gen pou wè ak koudeta Sedras la, sanmba Jan Mapou trase endirèkteman yon istwa depi sou rèy papadokratik la kote makout t ap pèsekite pèp la. Premyèman, nou jwenn filozofi sa a atravè kaptenn nan, frè MATYAS, yon makout, zenglendo ki swadizan konvèti men, kòm pwovèb la di: «chen manjèd ze pa janm kite metye l»; kè Matyas pa janm chanje; se yon san pitye pou malere, yon kè di ki konn pòch li sèlman.

Mapou kontinye pou l montre kòman zenglendo lame t ap pèsekite botpipo sa yo atravè istwa chak ap rakonte pandan vwayaj la. Se yon veritab tablo istorik «koudeta trant septanm nan». Mapou montre tou yon sòt «inyon» ki egziste pandan pasaj la: chak rakonte istwa yo. Chak vin ak relijyon yo e yo manifeste kwayans yo san okenn prejije kote youn respekte lòt: sa k ap envoke Bondye, Simbi, Mèt Agwe... pou vin pote yo sekou lè yo ant chemen lanmò ak lavi. Nou kapab retrase kwayans sa yo atravè chante yo, konpozisyon Kiki WAINWRIGHT, ki jwe yon wòl kapital nan zèv sa a. Men malgre kwayans yo, nou pral wè nan sizyèm tablo a kote pesonn moun pa kapab rete chwal «desten» lè l ap kouri. Brid chwal sa a se nan men Bondye li ye.

Se nan tablo sa yo trajedi a reyèlman chita kote tout moun pral peri, esepte yon ti lezanj manman an fèk akouche ki pral sove. La a, se pwen santral zèv la kote anpil kritik ka poze tèt yo kesyon sa a: poukisa Jan Mapou vin kreye mirak sa a nan fen pyès la? Ki filozofi li gen dèyè tèt li? Mwen kwè la a gen anpil pwendentewogasyon yon kritik ka mete nan setyèm tablo a ki dènye sèn lan. Men, kòm mwen di deja, nou pa gen okenn pouvwa sou desten.

D.P.M-Kanntè se yon fòm literati mwen ta renmen wè bonjan ekriven, sanmba ayisyen pwodui nan lang natifnatal la, yon literati ki gen manm, ki dyanm e ki gen bon epis ladan. Pyès sa a gen pou l tounen yon klasik. Mwen ta sijere tradui l nan lang anglè rapid ak tout kritik yo tou an anglè. Sa a, mwen garanti se yon liv ki kapab itilize nan etid sou «Etid Karayib», «Literati Karayib», «Etid Ayisyen», «Etid Nwa»... Mwen swete Mapou bòn chans ak pyès sa a e m swete l kontinye pwodui lòt bèl pyèsteyat an kreyòl ankò.

D.P.M-KANNTÈ BY JAN MAPOU: A BRIDGE BETWEEN

FICTION AND REALITY

by Emmanuel W. Védrine
 

D.P.M -Kanntè1 is a beautiful piece of drama that Jan MAPOU gives to the National Theatre, a whole new dimension. This work is a piece in the plight of the Haitian people who are going to look for better life abroad, but one that destroys their dream. D.P.M.-Kanntè is a tragicomedy; it is tragic and comic at the same time. Though what this play depicts has to do with coup by general Raoul Sedras, the artist, Jan Mapou traces  indirectly a story that goes back to Papa Doc's (Duvalier) regime where the macoutes2 were persecuting the people. First, we see that philosophy in the captain, brother MATYAS, a macoute, zenglendo3 himself pretending to be a newborn Christian but as the Haitian saying says, “The dog who used to eat eggs never breaks from his habit”. Matyas' heart has been changed. He is a man with no heart for the poor, a hard hearted-man who only knows his pocket.

Mapou continues to show how the zenglendos of the army were persecuting these boat people throughout the story that each one is telling during the trip. It is truly a historical painting of the September 30 Coup4.  Mapou also shows a type of “union” that exists during the voyage: each person is telling their own story. Each one shows their religion and they manifest their belief without any prejudice where one respects the other's: those who are invoking God, Simbi5 , Mèt Agwe6... to come to rescue them when are between the road of death and life. We can retrace these believes through the songs, by Kiki WAINWRIGHT7, which play a significant role in this book. But despite of their beliefs, we are going to see in the sixth part of the book that nobody can stop destiny's horse when it's running. This horse's bridle is in God's hand.

It is in these parts that the tragedy is really found where everyone is going to perish, with the exception of a toddler whose mother has just given birth to. That is the central point of the play here where many critics may wonder: why does Jan Mapou create this miracle at the end of the play? I believe here, there are many interrogation marks a critic can put after the seventh part, the last scene. But, as I already said, we have no power over “destiny”.

D.P.M-Kanntè is a form of literature that I would like to see real writers, Haitian artists produce in the Kreyòl language, a literature that has muscle, one that! is strong and live and one that has good spices.  This play, with no doubt, will become a classic. I would suggest that it is translated to English right away for a larger audience, including all critics about it. This, I guarantee it, is a book that can be used in courses related to “Caribbean Studies”, “Caribbean Literature”, “Haitian Studies”, “Black Studies”… I wish the author good luck and that I wish that he continues producing other beautiful plays in the Haitian language.

Note

  1. D.P.M.-Kanntè : (D.P.M = “Dirèk Pou Miyami” or non-stop to Miami) a term that is mostly used by people in the Bombardopolis area in Haiti.
  2. Macoute : Duvalier's thugs and also secret police.
  3. Zenglendo : armed thieves, group of armed thieves that appear in Haiti after the collapse of Jean-Claude Duvalier's region (1986).
  4. September 30 Coup : One of the most bloodiest coup in Haiti's history (on September 30, 1991) orchestrated by general Cedras and colonel Michel François.
  5. Simbi : One of the three cosmic serpents in Haitian voodoo; the water-snake l w a (spirit).
  6. Mèt Agwe : God of the sea (in Haitian voodoo).
  7. Kiki WAINWRIGHT : Haitian poet, artist (dancer, musician) and writer.

D.P.M.-Kanntè (book or video) is available at Libreri Mapou; [email protected].

 

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