Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Mesye, Dam, la Sosyete, Krik? Krak! – By Keylah Mellon, HCX Communications & Outreach Intern

11.11.15

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The transmission of customs and beliefs is vital to the sustainability of a culture. Cultural activist Allenby Augustin, of Haiti based cultural organization Akoustik Prod, joined us for a week-long arts residency where he engaged a number of artists of the Haitian Diaspora and kids of our afterschool youth arts engagement program at PS 189 in the mission of his organization: the preservation and promotion of Haitian traditional arts. The workshops led to our exhilarating event, Bann Konte: a Rara Storytelling Procession.

On a beautiful fall afternoon, the Crown Heights community gathered to celebrate the Haitian tradition of oral storytelling, songs and games. The program began at FiveMyles Gallery with Djarara, the low rumbling of drums, and the calling of the Konè. The storytellers followed with chanting “Legba nan Bayè a”, accompanied by the musicians and a very enthusiastic crowd.

A woman in a bright red dress took center stage: “Mesye, dam, la sosyete, Krik? Krak! My name is Michèle and I have come here to tell you a little story.” After Michèle Voltaire Marcelin’s wonderful tale of Who Will be King in the Republic of Port-au-Prince (spoiler: Haiti Remained without a King), the festive atmosphere of Rara was only accentuated by the demonstration of traditional games including “Wòch Mache” (walking rock) and chants of “Ewa! Ewa!” The procession then left the HCX home base, parading down Eastern Parkway in the mists of joyful dancing and invigorating melodies towards the Brooklyn Public Library.

The crowd was led to the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza by an animated Gede-like figure dressed from head to toe in a purple outfit: Goussy Celestin, our second storyteller. She captivated us in her rendition of Mimi Barthelemy’s Ti Fou and the 7 Horn Monster. Allenby Augustin then led participants in a game of “Kash Kash Liben”, a hide and seek type of game where one person stealthily hides a rock amongst the players, while a designated player tries to figures out who has the object.

The last part of the procession headed to Berg’n where Schneider Laurent, Guy Guyt and Lovely Kermonde gave an expressive and intense performance reflecting on Haiti’s political, cultural and social situation, leaving us to ponder as Djarara swayed us with their last performance of the night.

Thank you to Allenby Augustin, Goussy Celestin, Schneider Laurent, Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, our funders! Tradition was the focus with HCX’s Bann Konte and we thank all who attended, came to support and helped take the streets of Crown Heights on Sunday, November 1st with traditional games, folktales and rara music.

Click here to see pictures from the event!

Posted in Archive, Arts, Dance, Events, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Music, Photography, Weekend | No Comments »

Transmission of Memory – by Keylah Mellon, HCX Communications & Outreach Intern

10.21.15

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Haiti has a long history of forgetting. Or should I say erasing? Part of what it means to move forward, however, is to understand our past. HCX is highlighting a couple of institutions that have taken on the task of reminding the Haitian people of their past, the adversities they’ve triumphed over, and the consequences of our actions as a people in order to create avenues for remembrance: an opportunity to understand our current condition as a Nation. In a way, the following organizations are offering us ways of moving forward — should we choose to. We applaud and value their efforts.

Akoustik Prod

Akoustik Prod. is a cultural association created 2010, with the mission to actively contribute to the development and the promotion of Haitian art, culture and tradition. They host Krik Krak Festival, a program that was created to allow Haitians to return to traditional values ​​and have a better understanding of their culture. Participants have the opportunity to discover or rediscover, traditional songs, stories, dances and games.

CIDIHCA

CIDIHCA is a a documentation center in Montreal that provides documentation on Haiti and on the African diasporas to as wide an audience as possible. CIDIHCA has become a place of reference. The CIDIHCA library has assembled a substantial body of magazines, newspapers and documents. The CIDIHCA also has a video library , a large collection of microfilms on the history of Haiti and an important collection of Haitian literature accessible to researchers and students. The CIDIHCA is working to build a sound library music (popular and scholarly) produced in Haiti and in the diaspora .

FOKAL

Created in 1995, the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté / Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty), is a well recognized national foundation supported mainly by Open Society Foundations, OSF, a world wide network of foundations and initiatives created by philanthropist George Soros for the promotion of democratic values. FOKAL also receives support from the European Union and the French cooperation. The Foundation offers to local communities throughout the country and to organizations of civil society a large spectrum of activities in the fields of education, arts and culture and development.

Fondation Mémoire

Fondation Mémoire is dedicated to the preservation of the culture and heritage of Haiti. They assist in the identification, preservation and maintenance of significant artifacts of the Haitian national heritage, encompassing documents, artifacts, monuments, sites, persons, and historical figures.

Haiti Devoir de Mémoire  

Fordi9 is intended to introduce Fort-Dimanche, the most infamous political prison in Haiti during the Duvalier’s era (1957 – 1986). The organization aims to immortalize in its Chronicle, the thousands who suffered, were victimized and perished during the repressive regime.

Haiti Lutte Contre l’Impunité 

The project “Haiti fights against impunity”, conceived as a virtual library accessible on the Web, has a given mission to inform on the nature and scope of the system of impunity in Haiti. The project offers, particularly to the younger generations, documents based on real facts, events that took place in Haiti, and whose analysis sheds light on the mechanisms and forms of impunity since the rise of the Duvalier regime in 1957 until today.

The Jean Dominique Archives

The Radio Haiti Archive, housed in the Human Rights Archive at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, is an invaluable resource for scholars, educators, and members of the public interested in twentieth-century Haitian politics, society, and culture. The project houses the preservation of the comprehensive archives of Radio Haïti-Inter, the voice of Haitian democracy from the station’s genesis in the 1960s to its closure in 2003.

The Toussaint Louverture Cultural Foundation

The Toussaint Louverture Cultural Foundation’s purposes are to promote Haitian culture, stimulate artistic creativity, and support Haitian cultural activities in Haiti and in the United States.

 

Posted in Archive, Arts, Film, Literature, Music, Photography, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Pwezi ak Mizik Anba Tonèl – by Keylah Mellon, HCX Communications & Outreach Intern

09.09.15

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The Kreyòl language has the imagination of a child: limitless. It paints everything vividly, musically and is full of emotion. It holds nothing back.

For our fifth annual Pwezi ak Mizik anba Tonèl, we paid homage to the poets that showed us the limitlessness of our mother tongue: Jòj Castra, Lionèl Trouyo, Jean Pierre Richard Narcisse…

After a great introduction by Wynnie Lamour, Director of the Haitian Creole Language Institute, the evening of inspired music and poetry  began with Andeyò: Drums & Chants from Rural Haiti with master drummers Jean Raymond “Sanba KebyesouGiglio, Zilibo, Markus Schwartz, and vocalist Geralda Dalestin.  A fitting and educational drumming set that took the HCX community back in time, to a period where Kreyòl was being brought to existence by the different African tribes transported to the island. Introducing each song with its historical background, the group taught us about the various rhythms so prominent in traditional Haitian music: Rada, Nago, Kongo and Banda.

The poets took the stage next. Delianov and Melissa Beauvery shook us with their readings of “M’ Gen Yon Kanmarad, Loray Kale” and some of their own writing. Schneider Laurent, with his own mash up of Franketienne, Georges Castera, Felix Morisseau Leroy, and many more, had us at the edge of our seats with a breathtaking theatrical performance.

The emotional intensity only escalated from there as pioneer of Kreyòl writing, poetry and literature, Jean Pierre Richard Narcisse came to the stage. He read a series of texts from the great Haitian poets and some of his own that extensively and intimately explored the various forms of basic emotions of human nature: anger, sadness, happiness… He then invited his wife and her endearing voice, Jasmine Narcisse, on stage to sing “Nan Katye Moren in accompaniment before ending his set in a powerful reading of an excerpt of his collection Recho etajè : Pa mande m’ poukisa m’bèt. The latter had our hearts in our throats and holding back tears.

The night ended on a melodious note with Pauline Jean and her band taking on beautiful, jazzy renditions of some of Haiti’s iconic tunes. Leaving the Shapeshifter Lab was a struggle, as we didn’t want her set to end.

Thank you to all that made this event as wonderful as it was and we can’t wait to bring you another event filled with what, in our opinion, runs through the veins of the world: art, rhythm and culture.

Thank you to our funders: ConEd, National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

For photos click here.

Posted in Archive, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Literature, Mizik Ayiti, Music, Photography, Poetry, Weekend | No Comments »

Remembering 2010 | Film Screening with Associated Press Photojournalist Chery Dieu Nalio – by Keylah Mellon, Communications and Outreach Intern

07.08.15

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In partnership with 651 Arts, Haitian AP Photojournalist, Chery Dieu Nalio shared his craft with the HCX community Tuesday, June 30th. The program commemorated the 2010 earthquake, as Nalio presented his culminating project, Remembering 2010, from his Magnum Fellowship.

Every year the Magnum Foundation offers, in conjunction with NYU, scholarships to a six-week intensive fellowship program to explore strategies for creating effective visual stories with the aim of advancing Human Rights in their home countries. Nalio, now a Magnum Human rights fellow, was chosen amongst a myriad of applicants along with 6 other candidates hailing from Ukraine, Palestine, China, Syria, South Africa and the Philippines.

The evening started with a screening of Michèle Stephenson’s Haiti: One Day, One Destiny, a 20-minute feature on the emotional impact of the quake and the poignant stories of rebuilding efforts from the perspective of Haitians. A slide show of Nalio’s eye catching and carefully composed photography was then presented, followed by Remembering 2010. The 3-minute multi-media feature focused on Stéphanie Joseph, a thriving survivor of the earthquake. Narrated by Joseph, the piece recounts her experience during the disaster, the loss of her mother and her arrival in the United States through Nalio’s amazing eye. Culminating in pictures of Joseph’s graduation from Baruch College, the video ended on an inspiring note and Stephanie’s future plans to return to Haiti to assist with the positive transformation of the country. This opened up the floor for a great Q&A with both Michèle Stephenson and Chery Dieu Nalio. Interesting discussions among the program participants and artists revolved around power & empowerment and its relationship to Vodou, the situation between Haiti & the Dominican Republic, the presence of NGOs in the country, empowering the Haitian people, and the role of community to mention a few. Both films were conversation inducing as great art always is. HCX was very pleased to present Nalio’s work as we strive to give our community significant and inspiring art.

 

 

Posted in Archive, Arts, Events, Film, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Photography, Public Forums, Visual Art | No Comments »

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