HCX Community Postings
Here's where you can find useful resources throughout our community.
By Nathalie Jolivert, HCX Communications and Outreach Coordinator
This past Sunday, October 23, 2016, Haiti Cultural Exchange collaborated with Festival Haiti en Folie and hosted a conference and book signing for authors Michel Soukar and Rodney Saint-Eloi at Brooklyn College. Fabienne Colas, founder of Haiti en Folie and Carèl Pèdre, radio host of Chokarella in Haiti gave a warm welcome to the attendees after which, the writer and poet Michèle Marcelin Voltaire moderated the conversation between the two guest speakers.
Michel Soukar, historian and journalist based in Port-au-Prince spoke about his career and how his exile from Haiti allowed him to take a step back, as an activist, to focus on the history of the country. Learning about the complex history of Haiti encouraged him to communicate political and societal change in compelling storytelling. Soukar’s bibliography includes “Cora Geffrard”, which recounts the life and death of president Fabre Geffrard’s daughter who was killed at a young age and “La Prison des Jours”, which follows his main character, Antoine Pierre Paul’s insurgence against the US army during the American occupation of Haiti. In December, Soukar will be part of a conference in Haiti highlighting this military occupation, as a difficult period with an ongoing impact.
Rodney Saint-Eloi, writer and editor based in Montreal spoke about the importance of memory for the Haitian people. In the presentation of his newly published novel “Passion Haiti”, he mentions that memory is important to preserve for it is by knowing our past that we can move forward with lessons learned. As an example, he mentioned that his recent novel gave hope to a reader who felt hopeless for the Southern cities of Haiti post-hurricane Matthew. By reading about the author’s native city of Cavaillon, the reader understood that this city would prevail, for there was a lot of history that could not be erased by a hurricane.
As editors and great promoters of Haitian literature, Michel Soukar and Rodney Saint-Eloi also took the time to pay homage to classic Haitian writers like René Dépestre, Marie-Vieux Chauvet and Jacques Roumain. They also highlighted the works of a growing number of women writers, as well as that of poets who publish in Creole.
The attendance was multi-generational and the questions covered many aspects of the literary scene of Haiti from budding writers trying to make a mark through their participation in fairs and literary events, to scholars who are concerned about the future of literature in Haiti and the access to published work by a wider Haitian audience, via education. The event ended with a long line of guests eager to have their questions answered as they got their newly purchased books signed by the authors.
Haiti Cultural Exchange was pleased to partner with Fabienne Colas and Haiti En Folie and look forward to continuing to partner with likeminded organizations to bring Haitian culture to the forefront of New York’s rich cultural landscape.
Meet the artists of Lakou NOU at Mizik Ayiti! an evening of Haitian music and dance in Red Hook’s premiere arts space. Presented in collaboration with Pioneer Works, Clocktower Radio, & Radyo Shak.
On the night of Mizik Ayiti, Clocktower Radio releases a cassette mixtape of archived Radyo Shak recordings from their pirate radio station during the Ghetto Biennale of Port-au-Prince. The recordings are in both English and Kreyol, and include snippets of slam poetry, traditional Haitian recipes, historical tales, interviews with biennale artists, Rara street festivals, twoubadou crooners, and all vinyl DJ sets.
In rural Haiti, the Lakou communal living system embodies the intersection of land, family, and spirituality. Lakou members develop reciprocal patterns of resource sharing and jointly work the land. Lakou NOU (“Our Yard: in Haitian Creole), HCX’s newest program, will provide four artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to four traditionally under-served Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush.
After receiving over 25 applications, the Selebrasyon! Advisory Committee chose the following four Lakou NOU Residents based on their demonstrated commitment to the Haitian community and their proven artistic excellence:
Click here to view the Selebrasyon! 2016 calendar of events!
DATE/TIME: Thursday, June 23rd | 7-10pm
LOCATION: Pioneer Works | MAP
159 Pioneer Street | Brooklyn, NY 11231
ADMISSION: $10 Suggested Donation
In Partnership with Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust (BQLT), join us for Haitian folktales and songs, connecting children and families to the rich oral traditions of Haiti with Goussy Célestin.
Goussy’s personal mission is to stir up all her musical influences into a moving experience, incorporating Jazz elements, and dance influences. She has studied/performed music and dance for the last two decades and performs throughout the NYC Tri-State area as a musician and dancer. With the hats of a pianist, composer, arranger, vocalist, and dancer interchangeably worn, Goussy has received favorable reviews in the New York Times, where she was called a “renaissance woman’. In addition to wearing the many hats of a performing artist, Goussy teaches music and dance in various programs in NYC.
Click here to learn more about Selebrasyon! 2016.
DATE/TIME: Saturday, June 18th | 2pm
LOCATION: East 43rd Street Block Association Community Garden | MAP
1087 E 43rd Street | Brooklyn, NY
Join us for an exclusive screening of the critically acclaimed film Ayiti Mon Amour. Presented in collaboration with the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, and BAM Cinematek.
In a small fishing hamlet forgotten by the rest of the world, the sea is gaining ground and although the memories of the great disaster still lingers, life and love must prosper and survive in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Several characters try to make sense of their own existence, including a teenager studying Japanese who is bullied for being light-skinned, a writer and his muse who are grappling with their identities, an old fisherman caring for his ailing wife. With demonstrations against corruption becoming as commonplace as fisherman fighting for their livelihood, the hopes and fears of the Haitian people collide at a critical moment in their history.
Written & Directed by award-winning Haitian-American filmmaker Guetty Felin.
Q & A with the Director, Actors, and Special Guests to follow the screening.
“AYITI MON AMOUR,” was a Yellow Robin Award nominee at the 2016 Curacao International Film Festival Rotterdam, where it made its World Premiere. Its U.S. Premiere was at the 2016 San Francisco International Film Festival.
Click here to learn more about Selebrasyon! 2016.