Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

How one line created a vast disparity between countries. The six Vox Borders documentaries, presented by lululemon, are publishing weekly on Tuesdays. Follow Johnny on social media to stay up to date:

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Thanks to our sponsor, lululemon. Link for lululemon’s Mens Pants: https://shop.lululemon.com/c/men

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a border, and an island. But the two countries are very different today: the Dominican Republic enjoys higher quality of life for many factors than Haiti. I went to this island and visited both countries, to try and understand when and how their paths diverged. And I began to learn how those differences are playing out in the present.

Vox Borders is a new international documentary series presented by lululemon, by Emmy-nominated videojournalist Johnny Harris. For this series, Johnny is producing six 10-15 minute documentaries about different borders stories from around the world.

Video by Johnny Harris
Producer: Christina Thornell
Story Editor: Joss Fong
Animation: Sam Ellis
Assistant Editing: Mwita Chacha
Fixer and Translator: Pascal Antoine

Executive Producer: Joe Posner
Managing Producer: Valerie Lapinski
Art Director: Dion Lee
Engagement Editor: Blair Hickman
Senior Engagement Manager: Lauren Katz
Audience Development Manager: Agnes Mazur
Engagement Video Producer: Tian Wang

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20 Responses

  1. Vox says:

    This is a surreal feeling. Thanks to everyone for following along and being a part of this journey. Can’t tell you all what this means to me. The next video will launch in a week! Follow my newsletter to stay up to date: http://www.vox.com/borders-email

    – Johnny

  2. Scottish Independence says:

    This video was *NOT* biased. This video was focused more so on Haiti than the Dominican Republic, discussing the border, not the WHOLE of nor the rest of the Dominican Republic. The video went into depth as to why Haiti is so poor compared to the Dominican Republic and explained why racism was their main downfall, whether it be as a colony, a newly independent nation or in modern times.

    Yes Haiti did invade DR, but I’m pretty sure that was roughly 200 years ago, and doesn’t warrant for the racist acts in government nor at the border – like it or not, the Dominican guards, border citizens and some officials are indeed racist, as is very evident. You are two independent nations for different reasons, and should be improve relations as neighbour’s and ex-colony allies rather than dividing yourselves over history and systematic racism.

    Dominicans, like it or not, this video was about Haiti and Haitians and why they are so afflicted; there may very well be another video explaining things from a Dominican perspective, as well as explaining how this may only be near the border that the racism is inherent, but the video didn’t suggest that the contrary was the case. Haitians have been and continue to be oppressed and need your support if you truly cared about either of your nations.

  3. Enthused Norseman says:

    A thing worth noting about those 15 million francs that the French demanded after the Haitians revolted in the early 1800s is that it wasn’t just for any kind of lost property – it was for the Haitians themselves. Haiti spent the next decades paying off their own very beings because a colonial power had lost them as slaves.

    For more information on the history of Haiti, I would heartily suggest searching for medical anthropologist Paul Farmer, formerly a United Nations Special Envoy, and who popularized the concept of “structural violence”, that is violence that is perpetuated not through personal force, but through political and economic policy by denying people movement, legal status, access to utilities, healthcare and so on. His writings on suffering, Haiti and related concepts are worth a look.

    To Vox; thanks for making this video. And for all the misery and hardships covered, it was shot and edited very beautifully, and seamlessly integrated with the infographics and maps.

  4. Kortney Jones says:

    Anyone notice that this video was presented by lululemon? See top right if you don’t believe me.

  5. Grayson Sussman Squires says:

    This is garbage and should be retracted. Why were no DR officials questioned? Why was DR not talked about as the ethnically and racially diverse state? God Damn this is crap

  6. Harley Love says:

    How do they come up with so many amazing videos so quickly?

  7. espejo81 says:

    Paid for by the Clinton Foundation.

  8. K.93 says:

    Thank you for getting this story.

  9. JAMES4582 says:

    Well it’s obvious the Haitian people’s fault. How long have they been in control?

  10. croissantmania says:

    so basically both states are lousy: one’s corrupt and other one’s racist…

  11. Nathalie mileidy PΓ©rez says:

    Este idiota no sabe nada πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ, all that s… hi said is not true, God when people like that going to learn, and is sad how people like this talk s… about Dominicana, they are the only people that help them πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ˜€πŸ™„

  12. Sol Invictus says:

    3:36 Is that black Dominican border guard wearing a confederate flag hat?

  13. Grant Marks says:

    You lost me at

    *They thought it might become a slave empire and seek revenge*

  14. gabrielx95 says:

    The problem with this video is that the reporter has misinterpreted a lot of unconsidered factors as racism due to a lack of proper research. The Dominican-Haitian problem is a problem of identity, economics, religion and history that go back as far as the colonization of the island. However, It is easier to just put on a big sticker that says racism on the problem rather than delve into a complex narrative that began the moment that island was split. The role of skin color in the Dominican-Haitian problem is a very miniscule one. Whether it had been Venezuelans, Colombians or even Dominicans on the other side of that border, the narrative would be the same. It is a shame that injustices like this are going on at the borders but do not play into thinking that this happens because Haitians are black. Skin color is only a card used in the bigger deck where the problem lays and 15 minutes is not even close to enough time to explain over a century of complex socio-economic issues that play into the problem. I am a Dominican who loves and respects my Haitian brothers and I would encourage anybody who would be interested in hearing this story from a Dominican point-of-view to feel free to email me at gabrielfranco_95@hotmail.com. Thank you for reading.

  15. Antomy says:

    what is so racist about checking only the blackest guy?
    if my country neighbor is Chinese and we have an immigration problem with china, we would only check chinese people’s passport to save everyone time

  16. North Carpenter says:

    Three important things you left out are, one that Haiti was occupied by the United States and abused as a banana republic. This encouraged more single crop planting and exploitive crop production. The second thing is that deforestation was also a continual problem in Haiti as exporting wood was one of the only ways two make money. Thirdly the US tried to help Haiti by subsidizing rice shipments but it destroyed Haiti’s agricultural sector.

  17. backup41 says:

    With the worlds current technology and logistics, there shouldnt be any 3rd world countries. This is an easy fix.

  18. Omar Andino says:

    Extremely biased, horrible journalism… A border piece and the only Dominican interviewed was a driver? So much information is missing. Really disappointing!

  19. Bart Visser says:

    HI Vox! I use WildSpark to TIP content Creators. If you would like another revenue stream then see this video to learn about it and then start getting paid. It is a way to PAY those who create.

  20. Mark Nicholson says:

    John has to have one of the coolest jobs ever.

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