“Haiti Is Here/Haiti Is Not Here”
Sticks beating, hands beating, the rumble of bass drums so bass they sound for all the world like thunder, the rapid-fire crackling of a stick so sharp on a skin so tight it sounds for all the world like gunfire. You could be anywhere: This is a war zone, this is a party. Sticks beating, hands beating, there's a body underfoot in the middle of the crowd, that's the military police beating a man like a drum, that's blood on the stones.
The beat could be rhumba, hip hop, juju, reggae, samba. Or it could be a combination of all of these, layered one over the other, gaining intensity and significance with every rhythmic line. It's Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, and it's the Afrocentric carnival organization ...