A Little Meditation on Revolution and Liberty – A thematic statement by Gina Athena Ulysse

Gina w-Revolisyon logoOver the course of the 2015-2016 season, HCX will present a series of public programs around the theme Revolution/Liberty to foreground the revolutionary spirit of Haitian people and their continuous quest for liberty and autonomy. Through our signature An n’ Pale | Café Conversations, public forums, workshops, performances, and film screenings we seek to educate and engage diverse audiences while presenting original programming that showcase the multifaceted ways that artists, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, raconteurs and writers are deploying the concepts of revolution and liberty.

Our season-opening guest, author, scholar and performance artist, Gina Athena Ulysse, was gracious enough to write this piece for Haiti Cultural Exchange.  Read it and share!

A Little Meditation on Revolution and Liberty

If there were two words most emblematic of Haiti and Haitians, revolution and liberty would be my choices. One is our rightful claim to glory, a glory still denied, as pursuit of the other remains quite elusive. Overused terminologies, archaic narratives born of socially limited gazes ascribed to us, continue to fail to capture complexities that have always been ours. Revolution and liberty are not just part of our foundational scripts— a fundamental factor of global history, which ultimately forged reordering of humanity #1804— they are also a persistent common thread in our dailyness, expressive practices, which are in constant states of renewal. For us as a nation, a people diverse, an unevenly positioned part of a growing and overstretched diaspora lòt bò dlo, revolution and liberty have been discursive and practical blueprints integral to how we see, make and remake ourselves and our differences. Indeed, we can boldly assert that we hold near monopoly to unmatched creative survivalism. Yet, while we bled and gained our freedom from slavery, we certainly cannot claim to have ever possessed full liberty. The unfinished business of the revolution is a universal quest for blackness, a relic with too often fatal impact on a massive scale that is felt and lived every single moment of every day by one too many. We have become too intimate with struggle that has taken form in economic enslavement, occupations, dictatorships, exile, statelessness, faux performances of democracy, and torment. Indeed, we endure turbulent times inside and outside our borders and diasporas. These oppressive restrictions demand alerted and open consciousness, inventive and critical responses, strategies, and dedicated action. We have never been reducible to our conditions. We hold promise to achieving self-possession, pou nou vin mèt-tèt nou. It is in every breath that comes out of bodies pondering aspirations determined to tap into that revolutionary spirit to envision and chart new paths to fuller liberation.

On with our rasanblaj!

– Gina Athena Ulysse

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 3:44 pm and is filed under An n' Pale, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Literature, Poetry, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.