Response Post On Alternative Food Systems

Answer ONE of the following three questions in about four sentences.

How is the solidarity economy being implemented in Haiti and what are the implications of the solidarity economy for Haitian women?

What are the two developmental models that Ajl sees at work in Tunisia? Which model does he support and why?

What are the strengths and limitations of the way that food sovereignty has been taken up by the state in Latin America?



Solidarity Economy Praxis in Limonade: Reintellecting Woman as Subject

Mamyrah A. Dougé-Prosper

WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Volume 47, Numbers 3 & 4, Fall/Winter 2019, pp. 190-211 (Article)

Published by The Feminist Press DOI:

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WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 47: 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 2019) © 2019 by Mamyrah A. Dougé-Prosper. All rights reserved.

Solidarity Economy Praxis in Limonade: Reintellecting Woman as Subject

Mamyrah A. Dougé-Prosper

Abstract: In 2013 the Limonade Women’s Association for the Develop- ment of Agricultural and Craft Production (AFLIDEPA) in Haiti unveiled its transformation center and seed bank. Invoking the Black radical konbit tradition, the organization declared its commitment to food sovereignty and called on its fanm djanm (valiant women) to contribute to the devel- opment of their home(land). In this article, I examine AFLIDEPA’s for- mation and operations, and its relationship to the Haitian Platform for Advocacy for an Alternative Development (PAPDA) to appreciate the organization’s pursuit to reconfigure woman, family, and nation in and be- yond extractive zones. Keywords: solidarity economy, konbit, woman, family, anti-capitalism

Introduction On March 26, 2013, the Asosyasyon Fanm Limonad pou Devlopman Pwo- diksyon Agrikòl ak Atizana (AFLIDEPA)—the Limonade Women’s Association for the Development of Agricultural and Craft Production— unveiled its transformation center and seed bank in the presence of family members, community residents, and government officials, and local, na- tional, and international partners. Invoking the konbit tradition of work, the federation declared its commitment to food sovereignty. AFLIDEPA coordinator Olga Marcelin lauded members as “fanm djanm, as women who have values, as women with principles” and called on them to serve as models of “what is good, what is just, what is necessary for everyone to be happy, for no one to regret being a woman, and instead to be proud




of being a woman, to be proud of being a person who contributes to her country’s development and to the development of her home(land).”1 Ricot Jean-Pierre from the Platfòm Ayisyen Pledwaye pou yon Devlopman Altènatif (PAPDA)—the Haitian Platform of Advocacy for an Alternative Development—recounted that PAPDA and AFLIDEPA are “in love .  .  . and remained faithful to one another” since the Association resisted be- coming “a political tool for those seeking power .  .  . and money.” Turn- ing to the benches donated by his organization, Collectif Citoyen pour le Développement et l’Intégration des Personnes Handicappées de Limonade (CCDIPHL)—the Citizens’ Collective for the Development and the In- tegration of Handicapped People of Limonade—coordinator and local doctor Romel Jean-Pierre asserted that “solidarity without profiteering” would lead to Limonade’s development. The organizers then served kasav ak manba (cassava and peanut butter) sandwiches and Lèt a Gogo2 yogurt, stressing the importance of consuming local products. This inaugural event signals AFLIDEPA’s reintellection of sovereignty, democracy, and development, centered on the human (woman) and based on the values of solidarity and love.

In this article, I examine AFLIDEPA’s solidarity economy praxis in Limonade through its structure and operations, and its relationship to PAPDA to appreciate its struggle to reorganize life in and beyond ex- tractive zones. Though scholars of the solidarity economy point to its or- igins in the aftermath of neoliberal globalization, they also recognize that noncapitalist practices are not new. I contend that AFLIDEPA refashions century-old schemes of resistance to ongoing colonization and capitalism. Further, while critics of the solidarity economy underline its tendency to rely on women to fill in for an absent state, feminist economists neverthe- less foresee women’s liberation in cooperative economics. I invite readers to suspend purist critiques of AFLIDEPA’s solidarity economy praxis and instead to visualize the horizon fanm djanm draw for us, that is the refor- mation of family and nation.

Solidarity Economy and the Black Radical Tradition “Solidarity economy” is a concept that emerged in the 1990s out of Latin American social movements’ experiences with not-for-profit arrange- ments of cooperative production, consumption, distribution, and land use, governed through collective decision-making processes and direct

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participation (Lechat 2013). Globally, the neoliberal turn engendered unemployment, deprivation, and resourcelessness (Wilkes 2004), and social movements the world over sought to generate a “humanist econo- my” (Dacheux and Goujon 2012) driven by community reciprocity rath- er than profit-based state redistribution (Nederveen Pieterse 1998). The structures and denominations these endeavors take vary according to the place’s relationship to the market economy and the state, agricultural and climate issues, and its access to inter/national networks of people theo- rizing and experimenting with alternatives. Local conditions determine the varying scales at which they operate (Williams 2014). For example, the largest worker-cooperative in the world today, the Mondragon Coop- erative Corporation, which regroups over thirty-five thousand worker- owners occupying one territory, was founded after World War II by isolated Basque people who leveraged Spanish state protectionism (Gibson-Gra- ham 2006). In contrast, bankruptcy laws uphold Argentine worker- cooperatives resulting from worker takeovers of abandoned factories after the 2001 financial crisis (Ranis 2010). Even within one given nation-state, distinct configurations emerge (Lemaître and Helmsing 2012), as exem- plified by Cooperation Jackson in the United States that strategizes to seize state power (Akuno and Nangwaya 2017) while Central Brooklyn Co-op operates as a civil society organization. Nevertheless, these grassroots for- mations with a profound critique of racial capitalism are a “series of ex- periments, becomings, emergent possibilities and prefigurative practices” (Williams 2014, 51). In this article, I bring to bear this tension between the possibilities that the solidarity economy promises and its limitations within the current configurations of state and power (Stahler-Sholk, Van- den, and Kuecker 2007).

The solidarity economy seeks to revalorize and formalize already ex- isting non-market-based practices and to broaden the concept of econ- omy beyond capitalist realism (Fisher 2009). It pluralizes the economy (Laville and Cattani 2005); other activities that do not take the form of wage labor, commodity production for a market, or capitalist enterprise are also economic. Most experimenters and observers identify its roots in century-old schemes organized by women, who still predominate in non- capitalist formations at the planetary level (Bell et al. 2018; Verschuur and Calvão 2018; Glave 2010; Escobar 1992). However, most studies of the solidarity economy remain “gender-blind” (Verschuur and Calvão 2018)

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and the few that take on a gendered perspective point to a lack of signif- icant change in women’s material conditions and decision-making power (Bauhardt 2014; Starr, Martínez-Torres, and Rosset 2011; Gibson-Gra- ham 2006). Women’s overwhelming participation in the care and sub- sistence economies ensures the social reproduction of the family and the community. Yet it does not always yield them autonomy over their own households and bodies (both in their productive and reproductive capaci- ties). Formalizing women’s othered economic practices into the solidarity economy further legitimizes the state’s abandonment of surplus popula- tions. Nevertheless, feminist economists anticipate the solidarity econo- my’s capacity to liberate women (Federici 2012; Bennholdt-Thomsen and Mies 1999; Mies 1998). No economy can be solidary without being fem- inist (Matthaei 2009).

This article, and the larger project of which it is part, attempts to hold still an unfolding process. As such, I urge readers to exercise patience and restraint in their evaluation of AFLIDEPA women’s innovative rebuttal to neoliberal predation and to see the alternative possibilities they present us. Following H. L. T. Quan (2005), who suggests we use Cedric J. Robinson’s (1983) “vocabulary and grammar” of Black Marxism to reimagine a past and present marked by Black radical women, I situate AFLIDEPA women in the historical and present history of resistance to ongoing colonization and capitalism. To do so, I bring to light AFLIDEPA and PAPDA’s cocon- struction of solidarity economy praxis in Limonade as a refashioning of konbit in collaboration with their inter/nationalist comrades. Konbit is a mode of nonmonetized exchange of labor and resources between fam- ily members and neighbors occupying a given territory.3 Though these labor and production arrangements varied in scale and took on different forms and appellations in different territories, they marked captive peo- ple’s opposition to and transcendence of plantation politics, what Robin- son calls the Black radical tradition. In these different places, African and African-descended people preserved and (re)constructed kinship rela- tions based on solidarity and reciprocity. An African worldview that sur- vived the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery animated resistance and rebellions in the Americas. In the “first Black republic,” communalist practices not only endured the plantation system, they weathered the so- called postcolony, the longue durée of U.S. imperialism, dictatorship, and globalization. The solidarity economy in Haiti rests on these histories.

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Constructing the “(Home)land” as the Field I met Olga Marcelin (and other AFLIDEPA women) in May 2012 on my first trip to Limonade with PAPDA coordinator Ricot Jean-Pierre to study the praxis of solidarity economy. After the 2010 earthquake, in search of “new narratives about Haiti” beyond the tropes of poverty (Ulysse 2015), I turned to my network of Black Marxist militants in the United States to connect me to their homologues in the Caribbean country. At the time, PAPDA was already fifteen years into its struggle against neoliberalism, already experimenting with alternative-development models, and had renewed its campaign denouncing the United Nations military occupa- tion. I sought to find out how cadres intellect sovereignty and citizenship, practice community-based autonomy, reconstitute gender regimes, form collective identities, and negotiate their uneven connections with other militants the world over. Heeding Dána-Ain Davis’s (2013) reminder of our responsibility as feminist ethnographers to ensure that our research pursues social justice and the systemic transformation of our subjects’ lives, I not only wanted to expose the workings of Empire in Haiti but also flaunt the places in which nonexploitative human relations are being forged.

Between April 2010 and August 2013, I conducted formal interviews with over forty leaders of PAPDA member and allied organizations at their offices, and I conversed with more than one hundred others at var- ious gatherings mostly in the north of Haiti. All of my exchanges were carried out in Haitian Kreyòl. With PAPDA cadres, I traveled unpaved roads, scaled mountains, and traversed rivers to consort with a new gen- eration of radicals. Out of the dozen solidarity economy practices with which PAPDA cogitates, AFLIDEPA, with a membership of almost one thousand women, most swayed me. I spent three months in Limonade, intermittently over a year, harvesting and grilling peanuts to transform into butter while telling stories and jokes, singing and debating over poli- tics at organizational meetings and workshops, and drinking and eating at members’ homes. I witnessed these militants in their roles as facilitators, moderators, orators, experts, expedition leaders, and caretakers. Overall, I reassembled an undertold thirty-year-old history of people rebutting against ongoing colonization. To un-“silence the past” (Trouillot 1995) and present that Haiti shapes as the first Black republic, I expressly name and situate the public actors who partook in my research.

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Founding PAPDA: Toward a Feminist Tradition of Inter/nationalism The Haitian Platform of Advocacy for an Alternative Development (PAPDA) was founded after the miscarriage of the Revolisyon 1986.4 The transnational efforts that led to the removal of the twenty-nine-year dicta- torship of the Duvalier family produced the necessary conditions for the rise of an anti-imperialist candidate, the (then) catholic priest Jean-Ber- trand Aristide, who democratically secured the seat of the presidency in 1990 only to be deposed less than a year later by the U.S. Central Intelli- gence Agency (CIA)–trained Haitian Armed Forces and Police (Fatton Jr. 2014; Dupuy 2007). Revolisyon 1986 radicals were further disillusioned with Aristide’s restoration to power in 1994 by then U.S. president Bill Clinton and his United Nations multinational military entourage. Move- ment historian William Thélusmond from Centre de Recherches Action et de Développement (CRAD)—the Center for Action Research and Develop- ment (CRAD)—revealed to me that

when Aristide came back, we experienced a strong neoliberal offensive, where nothing was clear and the whites [read: foreigners] had invaded the country, and then the neoliberal projects were launched. . . . There was a fragmentation on the Left . . . so we saw the necessity to at least have one discourse. That’s where the alliance was born. All of us who were already strong . . . And we saw the need to get together so we can be stronger, so we can have a certain representation, so we can do certain things, so we could have an entity that was really doing things that would contribute to the construction of another type of economy in the country, another type of society using another framework, another perspective, you see. Anti-neo- liberal. You see? (pers. comm., May 2013)

Aristide’s homecoming indicated his commitment to implementing the Washington Consensus. 1986 revolutionaries reconsidered their partici- pation in a proxied electoral process. In 1995, nine organizations retreated “to reinforce the capacities of our country’s social movements especially in regard to their capacity to intervene on the political and social stage.”5 Sol- idarite Fanm Ayisyèn (SOFA)—Haitian Women in Solidarity—is among PAPDA’s cofounders and serves on PAPDA’s secretariat. Among the founders are lawyers, economists, sociologists, philosophers, and agrono- mists, “petit bourgeois” men and women, according to Chenet Jean-Bap- tiste from Institut de Technologie et d’Animation (ITECA)—the Institute of Technology and Animation—who, cognizant of their positionalities,

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instrumentalized their access to capital. They agreed that grassroots movements lacked coordination and that rural associations needed more training. They established PAPDA endeavoring to connect popular neigh- borhood (read: urban) associations and organizations of peasants, work- ers, and women across departmental lines and national borders in order to amplify resistance to the neoliberalization of the capitalist world order.

Many PAPDA founders studied abroad and developed networks with other militants, notably in France, Belgium, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, the United States, and Canada. PAPDA director Camille Chalmers cautioned me against an- tiquated concepts of nationalism. Chalmers explained,

We noted that one of the obvious problems that we have is isolation. It is an isolation that functions in two ways. That means at the international level, no one knows about Haiti. So the quarantine that had been put in place by France and the other Western powers had worked well. It is total ignorance. Even among those who are professionals of history, even the folks who study slavery and revolutionary processes, they don’t know the country’s history.  .  .  . Additionally, Haitians have in general a deformed vision of the world and of others. So it’s a double difficulty that always plunges us into solitude. They don’t understand us. But we, too, in defining our strategies, we are often clumsy on this issue of our relationship with the international, with the issue of international solidarity. So it’s a double difficulty.  .  .  . That’s why within PAPDA, we decided that one work pri- ority we had was to weave relations with movements, with international movements that share our vision, our analysis, that have almost the same critique of globalization, and that want to build alternatives. (pers. comm., November 2012)

Chalmers called for a “rupture with the colonial discourse” that convinces us to “think of ourselves as something separate, completely different than all the rest” (pers. comm., November 2012). Hence, liberation in Haiti is interlinked and contingent upon liberation everywhere else. In 1998, PAPDA solicited the collaboration of the Cuban Asociacíon Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños (ANAP)—the National Association of Small Farm- ers—to set up expert teams of Cuban and Haitian agronomists to cogitate on organic agriculture with a special focus on the rice-producing Depart- ment of Artibonite. In 2001, PAPDA participated in the “First Forum on Food Sovereignty” in Havana. That same year, the cadres presented

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themselves at the first World Social Forum in Brazil. Subsequently, the organizers hosted the Third Assembly in 2003 in Cap-Haïtien during which attendees visited the historical mythical site of Bwa Kayiman6 and paid tribute to the transcendent figure of Boukman, who sparked the Revolution of 1804. PAPDA sat on the forum’s international council for twelve years. Organizers also have ties with Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST)—the Landless Workers’ Movement. In 1999, PAPDA joined the transnational platform Jubilée Sud to denounce the practices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. It served on the coordinating committee of Jubilée Sud-Amérique for ten years. At every meeting of the Assembly of Caribbean People (ACP), leaders accompany a delegation of more than one hundred militants. PAPDA is also a member of the Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM), as well as the World Forum for Alternatives (WFA). By engaging the inter- national Left, PAPDA seeks to overcome the quarantine of the first Black republic. Cadres move across continents to exchange stories, experienc- es, and strategies, and act together with other militants. By doing so, they secure the necessary resources to support the development of solidarity economy in Haiti.

For over twenty years, PAPDA leaders journeyed throughout the country to identify potential allies and to abet peasant reimaginings of labor and land relations. Former PAPDA director of program Frank Saint- Jean insisted that

when we select a pilot area, it involves a series of actions towards a type of experimentation . . . that serves us as an example to fuel our advocacy. The objective of the pilot for us, it’s that there are actions being done, on the basis of alternative construction, you understand? And these alternatives are supposed to help us fuel our global advocacy work. This means that the advocacy work that we are doing at the global level is not that of an intellectual in an office. These are things firmly grounded in a reality. It is something fueled by local processes . . . A dialectic. (pers. comm., Novem- ber 2012)

During the last four years, with the assistance of the Groupe de Recher- che et d’Appui en Milieu Rural (GRAMIR)—the Research and Support Group in Rural Areas—PAPDA convened 153 peasant collectives at re- gional and national retreats to facilitate dialogues about their vision for

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an alternative Haiti and to formulate a Kaye Nasyonal Revandikasyon Òga- nizasyon Peyizan ak Peyizàn Ayisyen yo (National Notebook of Demands of Haitian Peasant Organizations). This dialectical consultation between local (peasant) and national (Western-educated) forms of knowing is what María Elena Martínez-Torres and Peter Rosset (2010) call a “di- alogue of knowledges.” Positing that food sovereignty is fundamental to self-determination,7 the Kaye details a (popular) national proposal for an agroecological development centered around the (extended) family—the collective. Founding-member Allen Henry from Association Nationale des Agro-professionnels Haitiens (ANDAH)—the National Haitian Associa- tion of Agro-professionals—clarified in an earlier interview,

We still encourage family-based agriculture. For a simple reason, because the social relations, the economic relations, they are very different than when you enter into massive production that are based on salary rela- tions, which means classic relations of exploitation. We are not down with that. You see? Family-based agriculture is the best model for establishing healthy relations between people. (pers. comm., May 2013)

Family here is theorized as a “quality of relations, a principle of coopera- tion and responsibility” between human beings and not as exclusive bio- logical relations (Federici 2012, 145). This reconceptualization of family reconjoins the processes of production, reproduction, and consumption that the social division of labor in capitalism divides and fetishizes (Fed- erici 2012; Mies 1998). For PAPDA, family is a prefigurative formation that draws from preexisting ways of being and doing before and under cap- italism. Former director of SOFA Carole Pierre-Paul Jacob specified in a separate exchange,

Patriarchy is old but it is not tradition. Similarly, capitalism is old but it does not emanate, it is not an emanation of the people, meaning it is not the popular way of life, you see. So you have tradition that emanates, that is the emanation of the popular masses, meaning a reclamation of historical roots, historical things. (pers. comm., May 2013)

Tradition in Jacob’s case stands outside of the “overrepresented Western bourgeois ethnoclass human figure,” what Sylvia Wynter terms “Man” and his emanations of patriarchy and capitalism (2003, 260). SOFA fem- inists reclaim Man’s centering of the human experience around himself.

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Patriarchy and capitalism are not inevitable and timeless. Other subjectiv- ities beyond Man are possible. It is this theory of a “popular” way of life as a “feminist” way of life that I try to ground below.

Locating and Uncovering AFLIDEPA An hour drive southeast from Labadie, a private destination offered by the Miami-based Norwegian cruise line Royal Caribbean, the AFLIDEPA center is located in the commune of Limonade off the National Route No. 6, less than ten kilometers south of Haiti’s second-largest city Cap-Haïtien, and up the road from the Dominican-funded State University King Henri Christophe Limonade Campus. Built in the early nineteenth century to defend independence from European reinvasion, the Citadel Laferrière rests 970 meters atop the Massif du Nord mountain chains, twenty-five kilometers south of Limonade, surveilling the Caracol Bay in which a free- trade industrial park financed by the United States Agency for Internation- al Development (USAID) disgorges chemical waste from the manufacture of Old Navy clothing. The fortress overlooks the Morne Bossa gold-min- ing project of U.S. company VCS Mining. Though Dubout is sited in the Department of Nord, it is only twenty kilometers from an old United Na- tions Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) base in Terrier Rouge in the Department of Nord-Est, outside of the Blondin-Douvray copper mines of the Canadian company Majescor. Dubout is an hour drive away

Fig. 1. Map of AFLIDEPA center in relation to extractive zones. Produced by author.

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from the militarized border on the Massacre River where Haitians buy Dominican goods at the so-called binational market.

A few kilometers outside the Limonade city center stands a hand- painted sign with the organization’s and supporting partners’ logos. A narrow path large enough for the passage of one Nissan Patrol leads to the gate, above which hangs “Byenvini nan Sant AFLIDEPA (Welcome to the AFLIDEPA Center).” The seafoam green ranch-style edifice sits on six acres of land; it occupies less than one-fourth of the property. Its large porch serves as a stage during events and as a gathering space for assem- blies and training workshops. A window on the left side of the center opens up to a shop. To its right sits a smaller building in which local seeds are stored. On the rest of the land, AFLIDEPA plans to erect another structure to house organizational activities and accommodate participants.

Founding AFLIDEPA: Woman as Subject The center is a milestone in the vision of the six women who established AFLIDEPA in January 2004, the year marking the bicentennial of the Hai- tian Revolution. The founders are former members of the peasant collec- tive Asosyasyon Pwodiktè Lèt Limonad (APWOLIM)—the Association of Milk Producers of Limonade. The separation was not the result of discord. They cite the most recent 2003 census to recognize that women comprise 52 percent of the population, and that 53 percent of all households are headed by women; 41.2 percent of households in the country include four to six people; and 31.2 percent of all women are unemployed (IHSI 2003). Marcelin explained, “When a woman has an economic activity, it is in fact the entire family [that benefits]” (pers. comm., November 2012). At the time of the inauguration, there were 224 cows in circulation, and fourteen young women had recently joined the “manman bèf (mother cow)” pro- gram. Marcelin elated:

The manman bèf program, this is something in which we are greatly in- vested. Because before—I will give you a little history lesson .  .  . before, women didn’t use to raise cows. It was men in Limonade.  .  .  . But now women are integrated—as they should be—in animal husbandry, and there are many women who shepherd cows. . . . So this is something very exciting for the organization. (pers. comm., November 2012)

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Cow husbandry (in Limonade) is traditionally the domain of men. AFLIDEPA challenges and seeks to dismantle this occupational segrega- tion. Marcelin reminds us that women, too, labor—women, too, are peas- ants. Woman becomes subject; the world is imagined and ordered from her standpoint.

Volunteers coordinate the federation; Marcelin functions as its direc- tor. There are various committees that oversee the management of proj- ects, popular education, and health, to name a few. AFLIDEPA holds monthly membership meetings. Every January, the Association organizes a General Assembly during which adherents reevaluate and recommit to its principles. In 2017, membership counted 520 adult women and 325 young women ages nine to twenty-five distributed over ten branches in varying communal sections of Limonade, or 3.11 percent of the female population. The organization integrates the disabled, the elderly, and chil- dren in all its activities, including laboring in the gardens. At the inaugu- ration, a CCDIPHL spokesperson applauded the collective for believing “that all people are people.” Every year, the federation honors a woman of Limonade who is almost one hundred years old. Life expectancy for women in Haiti is sixty-four years. The organization embraces single preg- nant teens. Members also involve their children:

We mentor them in all ways, in sports, in agriculture, animal husbandry, in all AFLIDEPA activities. These children are there to ensure continuity since we have noticed that times are modern, there are other things that are increasing and coming. So we are trying to orient them in it so that we may save them so that they may become a resource for the country—I won’t only say Limonade—but for the country. (Marcelin, pers. comm., November 2012)

The organization subsidizes and monitors the schooling of members’ chil- dren. Consider that 42.6 percent of children six years or older living in rural areas have never received formal schooling. AFLIDEPA started Sous Espwa Limonad (SEL)—Source of Limonade’s Hope—for members’ children five and over. The collective provides its youth with judo training though Romel Jean-Pierre’s Centre de Réflexion et d’Action sur les Problèmes Sociaux (CRAPS)—the Center for Thinking and Acting on Social Prob- lems. AFLIDEPA administers classes on cleanliness and behavior. With rivers compromised by chemical residues from mining expeditions and

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industrial projects like Caracol and by the MINUSTAH-derived cholera epidemic that killed ten thousand Haitians and sickened tens of thousands of others, organizers are vigilant. The collective also offers its younger members (so far up to eleven) “credit” to pursue higher education, es- pecially in accounting, veterinary medicine, and agricultural technique. AFLIDEPA conducts workshops on women’s reproductive health. Note that the maternal mortality rate in Haiti in 2017 is 529 deaths per one hun- dred thousand live births, and the infant mortality rate is fifty-nine deaths per one thousand live births (IHE 2017).

The organization owns four plots of land, controls previously unused governmental territory (through usufruct rights), and utilizes individual members’ “private” property to cultivate mainly corn, beans, and peanuts using a tractor AFLIDEPA shares with APWOLIM. The federation buys crops from members’ personal gardens and from other collective farms in Limonade. The women raise chickens, goats, and cows. Together, they also possess a bull with which they breed their cows. AFLIDEPA remains a partner in APWOLIM’s Lèt a Gogo Limonade, which distributes milk to local schools. Their chwal batay (battle horse) is agriculture “to kick out foreign milk.” AFLIDEPA also produces pastries and fruit preserves. It fabricates sandals, purses, belts, necklaces, and earrings with solid waste and string. The federation’s national and international partners donated the stationary and the mobile equipment. Member contribution facili- tated the purchase of organizational land. The peasant women sell their products at Limonade and surrounding marketplaces. AFLIDEPA relies on its members’ social networks and its ties to other organizations for distribution.

The federation controls three mutuals, and plans to open another seven in the next ten years. Only members who regularly attend organiza- tional meetings and volunteer on committees can partake. They convene once a month and contribute five gourdes (about seven U.S. cents) to an emergency fund that covers members’ illnesses, deaths, and childbirths. AFLIDEPA also collects large sums from supporters to provide loans (for a period of time determined by the member herself ) at a 2 percent inter- est fee (1 percent for AFLIDEPA proper and the other for the mutual). Marcelin testified that “the mutuals bring about solidarity because the women learn about one another’s problems” (pers. comm., May 2013). Unlike in microcredit systems, money here is a commons; it is not simply accumulated for profit and consumption. The organization strategically

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appeals to individual women with opportunities for personal economic growth to inscribe them in a collective movement of creative work, wealth sharing, and self-determination through a ritualistic initiation it calls “Pase Kado,” or passing on the gift.

Pase Kado is: we give three goats and these three goats need to be re- turned. The person returns them once her original have had offspring by giving them to next member. This means that even if a partner ceases to be in the field, the activity will continue within the organization. We do this with everything . . . chickens. We do it with goats, we do it with cows, we do it with the gardens. So if you have a garden activity, you have beans, you give a woman four pots of beans to plant. After she plants, she harvests them and we do follow-ups. . . . So when the beans are harvested, not only does the person have beans to eat, she also has some to sell, as well as to return to the organization to benefit another. (Marcelin, pers. comm., November 2012)

AFLIDEPA’s solidarity economy praxis resubjectivizes participants be- yond the transactional and exploitative categories capital imposes on them. Cooperation and responsibility underpin “healthy relations.”

Accordingly, the fanm djanm are careful and strategic about not get- ting swallowed in “projects that do not match who we are” (Marcelin, pers. comm., November 2012). Since 2006 AFLIDEPA and PAPDA have been friends. Marcelin affirmed at the inauguration of the mill that

we don’t need anyone dictating anything to us. Because this is ours. We have our own objectives, we know what we want. We don’t want to mis- match what we believe, our acronym and all. We find that PAPDA has not come to dictate anything to us . . . We can say that PAPDA has always re- mained in the line of vision in which we believe. And we have stayed in the line in which PAPDA believes. This is why we are friends. (pers. comm., November 2012)

At every yearly assembly, AFLIDEPA invites PAPDA and CRAPS to muse together on ways to develop Limonade. AFLIDEPA coorganized the re- gional workshops for the Departments of Nord and Nord-Est, coordinat- ed the follow-up meetings to ratify the regional Kaye Revandikasyon, and cofacilitated the national gatherings to approve the final text. Via PAPDA, AFLIDEPA is a member of the transnational peasant movement La Via

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Campesina (The Peasant Way) and participates in inter/national con- ventions on the solidarity economy. Moreover, the federation’s collective enterprise is made possible by funding from INGOs AgriSud, Entraide & Fraternité (Mutual Aid & Fraternity), and Grassroots International, to name a few allies. Grounded in Limonade, AFLIDEPA’s solidarity econo- my operations involve a multifarious construction of the nation as unique but also tied to other nations in a larger project of human emancipation.

Woman as Subject: New Intellections of the Family The 2013 opening of the complex (mill and bank) in the presence of gov- ernment officials and community members firmly roots AFLIDEPA as a central actor in Limonade and in the Departments of Nord and Nord- Est, and indicates that the federation seeks to be influential, to serve as a model, to return to Marcelin’s words, for “what is good, what is just.” As such, AFLIDEPA counters the Rural Code8 and free trade and mining laws that expulse peasants andeyò (outside) the national imaginary and dispos- sess them of ancestral lands. As in other Latin American countries (Petras and Veltmeyer 2007), the Haitian state’s relationship with the peasantry has always been tumultuous (Casimir 2018; Dupuy 2007; Fick 1990). (Post)colonial elite men prove(d) they are “modern” by ignoring, un- derdeveloping, and abusing peasants, and by turning to development practices that promote industrialization. They construe(d) peasants as an inexhaustible unskilled labor pool of nonpersons deserving and capa- ble only of menial and subservient work for capitalist accumulation (of transnational others). Conversely, peasant communities and movements resisted through marronage and armed rebellions (Hector 2000). Like- wise, AFLIDEPA women refashion the Black radical tradition of konbit to scheme against the zones of extraction that envelop them.

In this imperfectly colonized space, abandoned people reintellect labor, land relations, and kinship. Land, labor use, and value are repurposed. The domestication of land is intentional and contingent upon ecologically sound, collectively driven projects. AFLIDEPA improves land according to its environmentalist commitment to resituating the human in nature. This revaluation of land engenders the reconceptualization of labor and the laboring body. In a solidarity economy, the worker and her labor are not commodities. Instead, labor is a distinctive commons, the application of “the human capacity to create” (Wainwright 2014, 74). AFLIDEPA

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rethinks people’s capacity to labor and produce according to their creativ- ity and for “everyone to be happy.” Capacity is not reduced to the worker’s corporeality as a factor in production. The worker directs her own actions. Work is thus not tedious and humiliating; the worker’s body is not simply an “accumulation strategy” (Harvey 1998). The member’s entire person (committed to a myriad of human relations) is engaged in the collective process.

For AFLIDEPA, kinship is based on reciprocity; people without bio- logical attachments produce and distribute together in exchange for labor on personal gardens and the consumption of their harvest and products. As a refashioning of konbit, the solidarity economy advances a democratic mode of regulation that decommodifies human relations in order to trans- form households, lives, and livelihoods. Though AFLIDEPA’s politics of the body seemingly point to the child as the horizon and beneficiary of political action, contrary to queer theorist Lee Edelman’s (2004) claims, they are not inevitably heteronormative. The child here is not the product of compulsory marital relations. Biological reproduction is not to be bar- gained with husbands and national elites (whose interests align with those of Global North development agencies). AFLIDEPA affords women tools with which to design their own families. Accordingly, solidarity economy praxis in Limonade pushes against the bourgeois-liberal model of the nu- clear family and the genre of human it constructs. These altered “bodily practices” (Harvey 1998, 99) dislocate “woman” from bourgeois concep- tions that conjoin, oppose, and hierarchize men and women. Family here is a place where humans can reimagine and reorder their relationship to one another.9

AFLIDEPA offers us emanations of family and tradition that PAPDA lifts and amplifies nationally and inter/nationally as an alternative ar- rangement to patriarchal capitalism, and SOFA ensures that one hundred years of feminist struggles and intellections in Haiti ground this “dialogue of knowledges.” Together, AFLIDEPA and PAPDA endeavor not only to create a robust civil society or a “third sector” (Laville 2010) but also to challenge the market economy and the underpinning ideology of growth in capitalism, a limitation of the solidarity economy critical scholars usu- ally bemoan (Smith 2011; Coraggio 2011; Santos and Rodríguez-Gara- vito 2006). AFLIDEPA and PAPDA do not seek rapprochement to the colonial state but instead aim to expose the contradiction in the coupling of democracy and participation with capitalism. If we indeed interpret

Mamyrah A. Dougé-Prosper




my findings in this article as an open-ended process, we inevitably see a movement in construction vying for control of state power rather than co- existence. We also recognize the revival of inter/nationalism at a time we desperately need it.

Conclusion To remove Haiti from quarantine is to unsilence the past and present. It is to place Haiti at the center of modernity and its discontents—not in order to continue exceptionalizing the first Black republic, but rather to remind us that colonialism is alive and well, and that capitalism relies on the devaluation and exploitation of African people. Thinking through and with Haiti also offers an alternative to the capitalist system. For over five centuries, the people who have walked its land have intellected be- yond Man. AFLIDEPA organizers pursue these revolutionary goals of relating to other human beings on a nontransactional basis. Fanm djanm invite women in extractive zones to experiment with a konbit economy. Living the “popular” way of life necessitates the reconstruction of family. AFLIDEPA recognizes the plurality of family composition; it extends its limits beyond (heterosexual) biological ties. Living the “popular” way of life involves the transformation of the body from a mere capitalist instru- ment for accumulation to a peasant subject who directs her productive and reproductive actions. The body’s desired output is solidarity rather than productivity. Consequently, nonnormative bodies, too, can labor. AFLIDEPA counts among its members the disabled and the elderly, preg- nant teens and children. Living the peasant way of life requires cogitations with national others. It also entails reimagining the nation beyond its ter- ritorial cage, as linked to other nations engaged in the struggle for human liberation.

Acknowledgments I thank PAPDA and AFLIDEPA for their ongoing collaboration, and my colleagues at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center for helpful comments. This research was supported by Florida International University.

Mamyrah A. Dougé-Prosper is a postdoctoral fellow with the Institute for Research on the

Solidarity Economy Praxis in Limonade




African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her

research program focuses on the construction of neocolonial nationalist ideologies and

collective identities in relation to race and class, gender and sexuality, education and

language, and religion. She can be reached at

Notes 1. Lakay in Haitian Kreyòl stands for one of two words: “home” and “home-

land.” 2. Lèt a Gogo (Haitian for “milk in abundance”) transformation centers pro-

duce dairy products. 3. Though Haitian anthropologists Rachel Beauvoir and Didier Dominique

([1989] 2003) clarified in their Haitian Kreyòl–language book Savalou E that democratic modes of organizing life varied and took on different appel- lations—eskwad, asosye, sosyete travay, kòve, gwoupman peyizan—it is pre- cisely because konbit enjoys colloquial use across Haiti that I retain it here. U.S. anthropologist Jennie Smith’s (2001) most recent English-language text When the Hands Are Many: Community Organization and Social Change in Haiti reconfirms this diversity.

4. Radical social movement thinkers refer to the three-decade-long struggles against and subsequent removal of the Duvalierist dictatorship in 1986 as Revolisyon 1986.

5. See for PAPDA’s mission statement. 6. Bwa Kayiman in the Department of Nord, a few miles from Cap-Haïtien, is

the site where a Vodou ceremony took place in 1791 and ignited the Revolu- tion of 1804. See James 1989.

7. According to the World Bank, in 2016, 51.2 percent of Haiti’s GDP was com- prised of imports of goods and services.

8. The current Rural Code of 1962 is president François Duvalier’s version, which arranges and governs peasant life in contradistinction to urban life ad- ministered by the Civil, Penal, Commercial, and Criminal codes.

9. Research on the Cuban peasant movement after the Special Period reveals that over time family-based cooperative practices make women’s emancipa- tion possible (Rosset et al. 2011). Family then promises to be an emancipa- tory space for peasant women.

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