Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Resist & Restore. Lavi Miyò, A Work in Progress – by Jessica Tong, Programs and Outreach Coordinator

02.19.16

intro lavi miyo 1
moderators Lavi Miyo 3

This An n’ Pale took place on Friday, January 29th, 2016 at FiveMyles Gallery and was moderated by Jessica St. Vil & Shalomisrael Diggs of Kanu Dance Theater.

Section I. Birth/Naissance
“Everything has a beginning.  Everything must begin somewhere.  In vodou, life begins anew when a person engages in serious self-reflection ultimately leading them to devoting themselves to others, to prayer, to charity, to community, and to defending all of those things”

Section II. Life/Vie
“Everyday we face the trials and tribulations and through movement we each tell our individual stories.  The beauty is that there are commonalities in our struggle and the processes through which we achieve potential success.  That is the definition of community resistance.”

Section III. Death/Mort
“Although afro-traditions provide us with many beautiful things, they too are affected by the institutions that target the lives of black people daily.  Resistance and Resilience are not synonymous for being at PEACE.”

Section IV. Life-After/Au-delà
“Despite the things that exist to knock us down, we will live as long as living is possible.  Afro-traditions will remain relevant as long as there is a god, people to keep faith, and something to be liberated from.”

Click here to view photos from the event!

birth drumers lavi miyo pic

False Prophets, a poem – by Olivier Joseph

False prophets you are a paradox:
Preach harmonies but sing chaos
Promote peace but bring catastrophe

You, false prophets, make it so damn hard to be black in America.
But to carry Haiti’s story is no simple task but a privilege we gladly accept

You, false prophets, make it so damn hard to be black in America.
But to carry Haiti’s story is no simple task but a privilege we gladly accept

Things are changing.
Haiti is alive and fighting.

Fighting to open doors to reconnect with the broken history we left in 1804.
Because as beautiful as life is it is not without flaw.
So resist and restore to make our presence known, even if the world thinks us gone

Its fighting because we are the new generation of life reborn (here) to right your wrong.

Performers include:
Naomi Faith Fields
Olivier Joseph
Laurel O’Conner
Marla Robertson
Lenl Russel

Photo’s taken by:
Richard Louissaint
Keylah Mellon
Tequila Minsky
Claire J. Saintil-Van Goodman

Posted in An n' Pale, Archive, Arts, Dance, HCX Programs, Poetry, Visual Art | No Comments »

Introducing the HCX Artist Directory: An Online Platform Showcasing Diverse Creative Talents of the Haitian Diaspora

01.12.16

Artist Directory pic

You’re Invited to Join the HCX Artist Directory

 

HCX’s mission is to develop, present, and promote Haitian Arts & Culture in New York City. Supporting artists of the Diaspora is a huge part of this work.  HCX Receives requests for artist recommendations from a wide range of entities, including prominent cultural institutions and schools. In order to ensure that we are representing a comprehensive cross-section of the Haitian Diaspora Artist community, we are creating the HCX Artist Directory. Launching in March 2016, this online platform will:

  • Showcase your work to HCX’s broad and diverse audience
  • Facilitate opportunities to perform, exhibit, and teach through referrals made by HCX to its wide network
  • Connect you to a community of Haitian Diaspora artists

Artists of all disciplines and levels of professional experience are welcome to join the HCX Artist Directory. By joining the directory, you will be part of a network of artists empowering themselves through their art and impacting communities.

Become an HCX Member Artist
to receive additional perks.

 

To get your Basic Profile or to become an
HCX Member Artist, click here!

 

Click here to learn about the HCX Lakou NOU Artist Residency Program.

Posted in Arts, Dance, Fashion, Film, Literature, Music, Photography, Poetry, Theater, Uncategorized, Visual Art | No Comments »

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

09.17.15

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

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

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

09.09.15

Pwezi-7

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 »

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