Pimps, Whores and Missionaries: The Charity Industrial Complex in Haiti and Beyond
This research explores the role culture, religion and history play in the relationship between United States missionaries and Haitians in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. I examine the relationship that exists between United States missionaries and Haitians and I seek to find out the reasons why missionaries choose to go to Haiti. Using in-depth interviews with missionaries and Haitians along with historical documents, I problematize the approach US missionaries take towards working in Haiti. I also explore the manner through which missionaries perceive their own work compared to how it is perceived and received by Haitians. I argue that the power differential between Haitians and missionaries has resulted in certain forms of knowledge that have historically exoticized and misrepresented the experiences of Haitians. Missionaries’ attitudes and behaviors towards Haitians are a reflection of the representation of Haiti and Haitians in the US.