HCX Community Postings
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By Nathalie Jolivert, Communications and Outreach Coordinator at HCX
For the series of Black History Month events at Haiti Cultural Exchange, I had the opportunity to lead a Sip and Paint session on Haitian Creole Proverbs. This workshop took place at the cozy Haitian-owned lounge ’33 Lafayette’ in Brooklyn.
Haitian Creole Proverbs are very visual expressions that are learned orally from generation to generation. In the Haitian culture, if you want to be well understood, ending your argument with a proverb could easily settle the discussion. During this event, guests learned about a few of those iconic expressions and were challenged to come up with their own visual interpretation.
“Piti piti, zwazo fe nich li” = “Little by little the bird builds its nest”, this proverb resonated to one of the guests who had just moved to New York. While she felt that it would take time for her to adapt in the Big Apple, building her nest, step by step, seemed like a wise approach.
The proverb “Dèyè mòn gen mòn” = “Mountains beyond Mountains” usually refers to endless challenges in Haiti, but for Erika Pettersen, HCX’s Director of Development and Communications, this proverb could also speak about opportunities. For her painting, she first started with a simple rendition of grayscale hills which became colorful as they reached the horizon.
Although most of the guests claimed that they had little visual-artistic background, their sense of composition, their attention and genuine interest for the meaning of those Haitian proverbs resulted in appealing paintings. It was a pleasure for me to work with them and in return expand my own understanding of the wisdom in those expressions.
About the author:
Nathalie Jolivert is a Haitian architect and artist who lives and works in NY. Her art is influenced by her interest in urbanism, environmental issues and human relationships. Nathalie studied Fine Arts and Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Photography by: Liz Gauthier
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
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.
In collaboration with Harlem School of the Arts, Haiti Cultural Exchange presents the New York Premiere of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) with a special performance of ANGAJE.
Exploring themes of injustice, inequality and homophobia in the context of contemporary Haiti, Angaje is a series of interconnected dances created by Appolon for his company of seven dancers. Angaje will be set to music by Haitian legend Toto Bissainthe.
Based in Boston and directed by Jean Appolon, JAE’s Haitian contemporary dance company combines Modern technique and Haitian folkloric dance to bring a new artistic vernacular to its audiences. With its dynamic repertoire, JAE educates audiences about Haitian culture, traditions, history and current issues.
Kanu Dance Theater will present “She is a Potomitan” (a tribute to Vivianne Gauthier), originally choreographed by Maxine Montilus in memory of Paulette Poujol Oriol.
Kanu is an abbreviation for “Ka Pa Nou” in Haitian-Kreyòl which means “Our Situation.” The company began performing in 2003 and has performed at Brooklyn Museum, Barnard College, Columbia University, St. Francis College, Henry Street Settlement Theater, and more!
Click here to learn more about Selebrasyon! 2016.