The sophisticated urban design, architecture and construction efforts in the Acajou Popular Settlement results from a high intensity of social negotiation


"The Bidonvilles are Port au Prince's, and Haiti's, invisible cities.  Amazingly, they largely survived the earthquake, and now they soldier on.  They are invisible to those who live in them, largely because they take them for granted, and also because this cloak is pragmatic, it helps to insure survival.  They are invisible to the dominant culture, as they fit no accepted paradigm of civilization.  They are a mix, a stew, a gumbo, a Kreyol, of several cultural threads."       

"As such they are dynamic and protean, including in terms of architectural geometry, pattern and planning, and construction process.  They are not just a physical and spatial structure, but also a virtual structure, of social and cultural relationships that arise and dissolve as required--an attitude as much as a fixed concrete place." (Photographs and text by Christopher Robin Andrews following his visit to Acajou in January of 2011)