What is it about?

This article examines three uses made of Haiti in Canadian popular music in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake: K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag” remade into a charity single, a documentary on hip-hop workshops held in Haiti by Nomadic Massive (Montreal), and the release of Arcade Fire’s Reflektor. In each case, the earthquake is addressed, transnational affiliation is expressed, and value is assigned to Haiti.

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Why is it important?

The examples of the uses made of Haiti in Canadian popular music explored in this article variously generate solidarity with Haiti and sometimes reinforce Haiti’s alterity. Unpacking these moments of seeming affiliation tells us something about Haitian-Canadian relationships untaped by examination of policy and governmental discourses.

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This page is a summary of: “Sounds like Haiti”: Haiti as Muse in Canadian Popular Music, Popular Music & Society, February 2020, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/03007766.2020.1732019.
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