Jakmel Ekspresyon Computer Facilities

Jakmel Ekspresyon, run by a group of dedicated Haitian artists and their US colleagues, is a new vibrant art center in Jakmel, Haiti, whose mission is to holistically support the work, health and life of Haitian artists in an inclusive and non-discriminatory environment. This effort started after the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake. Many artists found themselves without studios, homes or a place to communally make and show art. Working together, a group of painters, filmmakers and dancers founded a new center where they can not only create and support each other in their artistic work, but also share their talents and skills with community members in Jakmel.

JE has various short term needs to achieve in order to meet their goals. Videography and other mixed media modes are an intrinsic part of the work of several individual resident artists at the Center. These artists and their work will benefit from increased access to digital multi-media tools as would a larger community eager for digital self expression. As email and social networking are vital pathways to develop shared ideas and to promote one’s artistic career, all the artists and members will need cost-effective access to the Internet. In order to keep the center running efficiently, which will help promote and achieve sustainable growth as a positive resource for the Jakmel Expressyon community, administration will need access to computing and productivity tools.

In response to these needs, Techne Labs has proposed to create computer facilities for the center with three functional areas: a digital editing lab, a cyber cafe for general Internet access, and an office workstation. Local area networking and electrical infrastructure will also be created to support an integrated and sustainable system for these three areas.

  • The digital editing lab will consist initially of three to five Macintosh workstations with software to support video, music, photography and audio/video recording equipment. The lab will be used to support artists’ projects and as a venue for community workshop
  • The cyber cafe will be integrated into the center’s proposed library and tea lounge facilities. It will consist of several Fit-PC’s which are energy efficient PCs suitable for Internet browsing. Members will also be able to use laptops through the local area networks.
  • The office workstation will facilitate the basic functions of the administration. It will consist of a computer, a printer and Libre Office suite.

Sustainability is an important aspect of the entire project. A plan to train local Haitians as support staff for the facilities is an important way to enhance this. We also plan to work within best practices for computing in low resource countries, in such areas as network bandwidth management and electrical infrastructure.


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