Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Fèt Gede at Pioneer Works

10.11.18

hcx fet gedeHaiti Cultural Exchange and Pioneer Works dedicate a night to Haitian Vodou and the ancestral dead with a Fèt Gede.

Live DJ sets by Val Inc. and DJ Sabine, performances by Sheila Anozier and Okai, and a ceremony (10pm) led by houngan Jean-Daniel Lafontant.

Fèt Gede celebrates ancestors, death and life by venerating the pantheon of gede lwa (spirits) through music, dance, food and offerings.

The gede are said to be the liveliest of all the lwa, the polyrhythmic sounds and fast-paced movements of the dancers are used as further attractors for them to manifest themselves here in the realm of the living. Each and every sacred object and performance is an invitation for the gede to travel to this realm as well as to honor and celebrate them. The Vodou-inspired artworks included in the PÒTOPRENS exhibition currently on view at Pioneer Works highlight the extent to which the religious practice inspires and feeds Haiti’s artists. A fèt gede further highlights this link between Vodou and art by activating the object’s divinity.

Free! $10 suggested donation
Click here to RSVP.

DATE/TIME: Friday, November 2, 7PM-12AM
LOCATION: Pioneer Works | 159 Pioneer Street | Brooklyn, NY MAP
Take F/G trains to Smith-9th Street Station or B61 bus to King Street stop. Or take the NYC Ferry from South Brooklyn (SBK) to Red Hook/Atlantic Basin.

Share with your networks!

Posted in Arts, Events, Exhibitions, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Lakay se Lakay “Home Sweet Home” by Sabine Blaizin| Lakou NOU Recap

02.27.17

As a Lakou NOU artist in residence, Sabine Blaizin, DJ and community organizer, worked in the neighborhood of Crown Heights and focused on the impact of gentrification on its Haitian-American community.

20161026 Sabine Blaizin Lakou NOU 2 20161026 Sabine Blaizin Lakou NOU storycorps logo

For the first part of her project, Sabine collaborated with Storycorps, an organization that broadcasts stories recorded between two participants as they interview each other. Those stories are then archived at the Library of Congress and made accessible to the public. Sabine reached out to current and past residents of Crown-Heights whom she hosted at Haiti Cultural Exchange with Storycorps, over Haitian tea and hors d’oeuvres generously donated by Grandchamps Restaurant.

The second part of Sabine’s project was an installation at FiveMyles Gallery in which she deconstructed elements of a traditional lakou to create an experimental atmosphere around the projection of pictures and sounds from the interviews recorded with Storycorps.

IMG_9786 IMG_9718 IMG_9747

An ephemeral cube made out of white draping, same as the garment worn by women during Vodoun ceremonies, served as the sacred space in which Sabine projected the stories of her interviewees. As you entered the cube, you could see colorful ribbons hanging from above, on strings woven through the wooden grid of the gallery’s ceiling. Within the cube, Mahalia Stines, a Brooklyn-based Vodoun priestess and long-time HCX collaborator, drew an intricate Erzulie Freda vèvè with pink cornmeal that contrasted well with the grey floor of FiveMyles gallery. Next to it, Sabine also placed a table adorned with objects usually found on Vodoun altars.

IMG_9840 IMG_9842 IMG_9788

On the day of this event, guests trickled into the gallery as Okai, another Lakou NOU artist in residence, played his drums. They ventured into the white space, absorbed the stories of Crown-Heights’ rapid gentrification and together seemed to apprehend and mourn the disappearance of Haitian culture exhibited within the cube.

Posted in Archive, Events, Lakou NOU | No Comments »

Haiti Film Fest 2017 Opening Night Fundraiser

02.06.17

Opening Night Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) and Friends for the Haiti Film Fest Opening Night Fundraiser, taking place on Thursday, May 11th at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Downtown Brooklyn. This celebratory event is the official launch party for the 4th Biennial installment of Haiti Film Fest. Established in 2011, HCX’s Haiti Film Fest highlights emerging talent in Haitian communities, and features provocative and innovative storytelling via narrative films, documentaries, feature-length projects and short films that depict the diversity, depth and vibrant spirit of contemporary Haitian cinema.

The evening will also be dedicated to honoring the following individuals who have made significant contributions to Haitian film and culture:

Arnold Antonin, Award-winning Film Director

Jimmy Jean-Louis, Celebrated Film and Television Actor

Rachelle Salnave, Filmmaker and Founder of Ayiti Images

More information can be found here

 

destinyhfflogo4.20

Posted in Archive, Events, Film, HCX Programs, Weekend | No Comments »

Sherley Davilmar and the Flatbush Community: “How Desensitized Are We?” | Lakou NOU Recap

10.26.16

by Marie Antoine, HCX Fundraising Intern.

As a Lakou Nou artist-in-residence in the Flatbush community, Sherley Dalvimar organized a three-part workshop series created to raise awareness of social issues faced in the black community including gentrification, wellness and the assault on black bodies as it manifests in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Part One:

Part one of the series dealt with beauty, health and wellness in an interactive workshop that included a zumba, yoga and Haitian dance session as well as a panel discussion and hair styling demonstration. Children and adults alike learned to make their own hair and skin care products from natural sources they can find in their own cupboard. Attendees left the workshop with a wealth of information and resources to holistically address their beauty and wellness needs.

Part Two:

The following week Sherley invited a group of panelists who are activists and organizers in the Flatbush community to speak on gentrification in the neighborhood. The panelists included Imani of Equality4Flatbush, Mark Griffith, Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center, David Etiennne, an upcoming filmmaker, and Alicia Boyd, leader of Movement To Protect The People. Prior to this workshop, I was unaware of the complexities of gentrification in affected communities. I left with a comprehensive definition and illustration of this issue and became more aware of how it affects residents especially in Flatbush. The following are some of the causes leading to the displacement of native residents in a gentrified neighborhood:

  • Harassment by landlords- In one testimony during the event one landlord turned off a tenants’ gas “ They go a year without giving you gas” said Imani going on to explain how they blame it on other entities — `it’s the city’s fault its not our fault` you’ve got no gas of course you’re going to move, how could you live without gas” he continued.
  • Unreasonable rent hikes- Though many Flatbush residents live in rent stabilized apartments landlords still raise tenant’s rents. In these cases its important for tenants to know their rights. According to Boyd, if you live in a rent stabilized building in order to ensure you get a rent freeze choose a one year instead of a two year lease. Also residents have four years to dispute unlawful rent prices. For more information or for support in this process email Imani at info@equalityforflatbush.org
  • An increase of policing in their neighborhood – Adam Kritzer Director of “Good Funk Film” retells his experience with increasing police patrosl in his neighborhood “ you start to feel suspicious, even though you haven’t done anything wrong” he said. It is not only the residents that get harassed it is also local vendors and small business owners who experience hefty fines.
  • Surging prices in new businesses – One of the first signs noted by residents when a neighborhood is being gentrified is a the opening of a Starbucks in the area, but higher coffee prices isn’t the only thing residents have to deal with, attendees at the workshop mention that more expansive grocery and health food stores replace local affordable businesses.

These situations lead to an intimidating and unmanageable climate in the neighborhoods often forcing residents out of their homes and communities. Although this was a challenging topic to tackle, residents of the community learned many avenues to get involved. The activists brought in concrete examples of ways that their movement has been successful in pushing against gentrification and empowering residents of Flatbush to sustain their community.

Part Three:

“Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees” –Billie Holiday (excerpt from Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday)

The closing event of Davilmar’s residency was profoundly poetic.  It was an essential anecdote after the previous workshop. The introductory presentation dove right in to the subject with a reading of “Strange Fruit” a poem written by Abel Meeropol and was famously sung by Billie Holiday in 1939. It was the perfect manner to start the conversation on the topic of Black Bodies a timely subject in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, which protests against police brutality, and the unjust killing of Blacks in America and around the world. The event proceeded with a powerful workshop by Veroneque Ignace, founder of Resist.Restore, where she directed participants through a series of movements both individually and in partnerships in order to guide participants to tune in to the body and to use it to express one’s pain and joy.

The panel discussion that followed, helped the audience to reflect on ways we can reclaim our Black bodies by understanding the nature of trauma through learning how it is stored in the body and how it manifests outwardly; by learning ways to address trauma in order to stand steadfastly and empowered in a society that consistently feeds us images of broken and lifeless Black bodies. Lastly the discussion encouraged the audience to think of and speak on the many ways we endure and charge forward each day; we walk, we drum, we exercise, we dance, we show up everyday in our Black bodies charging forward towards positive change and constructive evolution. The last part of the workshop was a powerful Nago Dance performance by La Troupe Zetwal, confirming that we are warriors, we are healers, we are here and we are triumphant.

I thank Ms. Davilmar for taking us through this three-part journey where she chose talented, knowledgeable and compassionate panelists and presenters and consequently produced workshops that left participants feeling informed and empowered.

Posted in Archive, Events, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU | No Comments »

« Older Entries |