La Ruche, Surrealist Antifascism and the 1946 Haitian Revolution
La Ruche, ‘Organe de la jeune génération,’ Journal Hebdomadaire Littéraire et Social, began in late 1945 as a cultural, literary and political revue produced by left-militant youth would go on to become some of Haiti’s most important intellectual and political actors. Members of La Ruche, such as poet, René Depestre, future novelist, Jacques Stephen Alexis, and photographer, Gérald Bloncourt, published forty-two French-language issues between December 7th 1945 and December 9th 1946. Amidst the length of the journal’s run, Haiti would experience a popular uprising led by members of the La Ruche editorial board in January 1946 (also known as Les Cinq Glorieuses), coinciding with the incendiary lecture series of the surrealist poet, André Breton, in Port-au-Prince. The pages of La Ruche bear witness to the political conjuncture of a Black Jacobinist anti-imperialism and a Popular Front antifascism imported into the literary scene by intellectuals with connections to Spanish republicanism and the French Resistance. The amalgam of these two different traditions appears perfectly blended in the political imaginaries of the ’46 generation. My paper will consider the events of the 1946 revolution in relation to La Ruche, and the mobilization of a Haitian surrealist antifascism legible in its pages. Their signature imbrication of Atlantic World anti-colonialism and Third World anti-fascism, with its robust vision of liberation through both poetic and practical means, is an important precedent for analyzing opposition against ascendant far-right authoritarian regimes in the Global South.
Jackqueline Frost is an intellectual historian of transatlantic political culture. Her articles have appeared in The Global South, The Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Historical Materialism and Third Text. Jackqueline’s doctoral work traces the philosophies of historical time produced by militant writers in the midst of mid-century antiracist movements in France and the Caribbean. With […]