Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Diane’s Each Body is a Miracle | Lakou NOU Recap

12.13.17

Diane Exavier, Lakou NOU 2017 artist resident in East Flatbush, describes her project Each Body is a Miracle, as “…a social praxis; a play in retreat; an exploration of health, wellness, and creativity in East Flatbush.” The project, inspired by her original play Good Blood, allowed her to delve deeper into the issues and themes of the play: immigration, partnership/intimacy, and health — via research, community crafting, and social practice.


She offers:

From the journey of Caribbean immigrants as part of the African Diaspora to the arrival of the global epidemic of AIDS in 1980s New York, Good Blood crosses language, time, and even the ocean in an attempt to question the contracts we make, the conditions we live under, and what it means to reach for a love that might outlive you. This fall, Each Body Is a Miracle offers the community of East Flatbush a chance to ask some of the same questions the play’s characters tackle: How do we live every single day? How does that help us take care of our bodies? What are the conditions we agree to in order to do that?

She segmented her project into three parts: 1) field notes, where she asked, what health issues are most affecting the lives and bodies of Haitian community members in East Flatbush today? 2) community crafting, where she facilitated a floral crown making workshop, related to the Haitian traditional practice of plasaj, and 3) reportage, an exercise in active dramaturgy, combining research and documentation with live performance.

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On November 9th, at the East Flatbush Branch Brooklyn Public Library, Diane presented part 2: Crown Crafting. The workshop was filled with youth visiting the library on that day. She reflects on this in her project’s tumblr writing:

One small, quiet boy, with skin as dark as my father’s entered the room. He ate a few cookies before mumbling, “I want to make a flower.” I obliged his request by placing wire around his head, fitting him for a crown, not daring to pretend he would ever be a king. I showed him how to attach flower and he was set on his way. He quietly worked on his floral crown for about 45 minutes before he finished in silence and filled up his snack plate with more cheese puffs. I remarked how wonderful his crown looked and held up a compact mirror for him to look into. He stared at his reflection, so satisfied and happy with what he had created and how it was resting on his head. I asked him if he made it with a wish in mind. He nodded yes.

Lessons learned from part 2, were shared on December 9th, at Brooklyn Fete, during Diane’s staged presentation of Good Blood and during the second rendition of community crown crafting.

Find photos by Richard Louissaint on Facebook here!

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

Lakou NOU 2017: Each Body is a Miracle

10.19.17

Diane Exavier, Lakou

Diane Exavier (East Flatbush) creates performance events, public programs, and games that challenge viewers to participate in the active realization of a theater that rejects passive reception. She is also an arts educator with a pedagogy that focuses on creating reflective spaces for young people. Her work has been presented at Westmont College, California State University: Northridge, New Urban Arts (Providence), West Chicago City Museum, and in New York: Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, Independent Curators International, Medialia Gallery, and more. Her most recent play Good Blood was workshopped in residency with the Flea Theater. Her writing appears in Cunjuh Magazine, Daughter Literary Magazine, The Atlas Review, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind.

She uses her Lakou NOU residency to develop her original play Good Blood. With “Each Body is a Miracle,” Exavier delves deeper into some of the play’s issues and themes of immigration, partnership/intimacy, and health through social practice. She segments her project into three parts: 1) field notes, where she asks, what health issues are most affecting the lives and bodies of Haitian community members in East Flatbush today? 2) community crafting, where she’ll facilitate a floral crown making workshop, related to the Haitian traditional practice of plasaj, where participants of any age can attend and through a brief meditative   exercise, decide the conditions under which they want to live, and 3) reportage, an exercise in active dramaturgy, combining research and documentation with live performance. She aims to compile her field notes into a brief report on pertinent health issues facing Haitian residents in East Flatbush and create a photobook sharing portraits from the Community Crafting event. Both will be available to view and peruse at a final reading of Good Blood, the play that serves as inspiration to this entire residency.

Join us!

PART 2: Crown Crafting  

DATE/TIME: Thursday, November 9 | 5:30-7pm
LOCATION: East Flatbush Branch Brooklyn Public Library | MAP
9612 Church Ave | Brooklyn, NY 11212

RSVP to the Facebook event for Part 2 here!

PART 3: A Staged Reading of Good Blood

DATE/TIME: Saturday, December 9 | 7-10pm
LOCATION: Brooklyn Fete | MAP
1515 Nostrand Ave | Brooklyn, NY 11226

RSVP to the Facebook event for Part 3 here!

 

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

HCX Collaborations | Haïti en Folie

10.25.16

By Nathalie Jolivert, HCX Communications and Outreach Coordinator

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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.

Posted in Archive, Events, HCX Collaborations, Literature, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Selebrasyon! | An n’ Pale Café Conversation : Sunday, June 26th

05.18.16

Bowery Poetry Club w- Danielle

Join HCX for our classic An n’ Pale | Café Conversation at the Bowery Poetry Club with Danielle Legros Georges.

Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros GeorgesDanielle is the current Poet Laureate of the City of Boston and a professor in the Creative Arts in Learning Division of Lesley University. She also teaches in the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences summer Writer’s Workshop, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poems have been widely anthologized, and recent essays of hers have appeared in Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences and Writing in America (ed. Abayomi Animashaun) and Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (eds. Kendal Radcliffe and Jennifer Scott). She is the author of two volumes of poems, Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001) and The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street Press, 2016).

Click here to view the Selebrasyon! 2016 calendar of events!

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 26th | 3:30pm
LOCATION: Bowery Poetry Club | MAP
308 Bowery | New York, NY 10012
ADMISSION: $10 Suggested Donation

Posted in An n' Pale, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Literature, Poetry, Selebrasyon!, Uncategorized, Weekend | No Comments »

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