Mawon was founded by Mélanie and Robert (Bob) Montinard in 2017, 7 years after their
arrival in Brazil. The Franco-Haitian couple used to work with international cooperation
between Haiti and Brazil and has extensive experience in the subject of migration.
Bob, a Haitian cultural producer, has 18 years of experience in conflict mediation and develops
cultural projects that aim to make migrant's; stories visible. Mélanie, in addition to 15 years of professional experience in the sector, has an academic experience as well. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the Museu Nacional / UFRJ whose research is on Haitian migration.
What does it mean “Mawon”?
Mawon comes from the Haitian Creole word "marronnage", which has a strong meaning in the political history of Haiti: marronnage is the name given to describe the escape of a slave from his master's property in America, in Caribbean or in the Mascarene Islands in the colonial times. The fugitive himself was called brown marron or black, nèg mawon. Today UNESCO
recognizes this “slave marronage” in Haiti on 23/08 as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. We believe that each migrant is a nèg mawon in achieving his life project.
Video produced by Lab Oi Futuro about the experience of Mélanie Montinard, co-founder of Mawon. Since 2017, this social work has followed migrants from different parts of the world during the process of immersion and acceptance in Brazilian culture.
Video produced by Canal Futura in 2017 telling a little about Bob Montinard's story.