Past Event

Fragments: Haiti Four Years After the Earthquake

Northern Illinois University’s Department of Anthropology presents a screening of the powerful documentary film Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy, followed by a discussion with filmmaker and anthropologist Mark Schuller.

Told through compelling lives of five courageous Haitian women, Poto Mitan demonstrates that despite monumental obstacles in a poor country like Haiti, collective action makes democratic change possible.

Haiti’s earthquake was one of the top five deadliest disasters in the contemporary world, claiming at least 230,000 lives. Four years after the earthquake, living conditions have only improved slightly and are still among the worst in the world. Haiti is now the poorest country in the hemisphere. Half of its people live under $1 per day, and 80 percent live under $2 per day. One in eight children die before their fifth birthday, and around half of people can’t read or write.

In Haiti, as elsewhere, poverty and income inequality intersect with gender inequality. But Haitian women are organized in their effort to change things, and women have respect in the country, referred to as pillars of the family, the community and society. Women are “poto mitan.”

Join us for this free event!
This event is open to the public, however reservations are required and can be made online.

For more information about this program, please call 815-753-0246.
For more information on Mark Schuller, visit
Visit the official Poto Mitan site for more information about the film and this project.


This event is presented as part of The Collaborative City, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit