Archive for the ‘Visual Art’ Category

A Screening of Cristo Rey & Purgatorio – by Keylah Mellon, HCX Communications & Outreach Intern

12.22.15

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BAM’s Peter Jay Sharp building was filled with a diverse crowd on Thursday, December 3rd for the screening of Leticia Tonos Paniagua’s Cristo Rey. Co-Presented by the Caribbean Film Academy and BAMcinematek, the main feature was preceded by a poignant short film, Pugatorio, by Haitian director Martine Jean.

Beautifully shot with deep vibrant colors and contrasts, the 12-minute movie revolves around Rosa Jean Louis and her daughter Soledad as they are questioned in a Dominican immigration office about their nationality and the authenticity of their papers despite being born in Dajabon. After being humiliated and degraded based on her Haitian sounding name and separated from her daughter, the film ends with her deportation and her crossing the border towards Haiti, a state that she knows nothing of.

While the latter film presents this almost inhumane facet of deportation in the strained Haitian-Dominican relations, Cristo Rey approaches this delicate subject in a different way.

Taking place in the slum of Cristo Rey, the story begins with Janvier, a first generation Haitian-Dominican (his mother is Haitian and father Dominican). The town is stricken by poverty, as well as an intense divide between Haitian immigrants and Dominicans, and is ruled by the drug lord El Baca.

The feature really explores and examines various aspects of what tarnishes the relationship between the people of Hispaniola: racism, prejudice, poverty, and most importantly misunderstanding.

The screening was followed by a discussion led by filmmaker Michèle Stephenson and Cristo Rey’s Director Leticia Tonos Paniagua. The most common comment was on the authenticity of the depections and Paniagua’s beautiful eye. HCX thanks all of those that came out to the screening! Special thanks to CAFA, and BAMCinématek.

Take a look at some photos here.

Posted in Archive, Arts, Events, Film, HCX Collaborations, Visual Art | No Comments »

Ti Atis – Youth Cultural Engagement. Bringing Haitian Culture to Children & Youth – by Jessica Tong, Programs & Outreach Coordinator 

08.25.15

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Ti Atis (Little Artists) is an in-school arts education program engaging youth of Haitian descent and their peers with Haitian history and heritage via the arts. The program gives young people ages 6-14 the tools to build an inclusive and culturally informed future as they learn about diverse art forms from professional Haitian artists. Our Youth Cultural Engagement programming consists of school-based and public offerings that increase appreciation of Haiti and its culture, promote positive cultural identity and self-image, facilitate cross-cultural dialogue, and cultivate an inclusive sense of community amongst young people.

This year, in partnership with Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP), HCX invited three artists to each create a 10-week arts residency which resulted in the following workshops: Creative Expression Through Movement with Maxine Montilus, Discovering the Music of the African Diaspora with Okai Fleurimont, and Community Mural Creation with Patrick Icart Pierre.   Over 60 students participated in these various workshops and were able to explore certain aspects of Haitian & Afro Diaspora culture while expressing their creativity through movement, painting, dance and music.

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Thanks to funding from Council Member Jumaane Williams administered by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, we were able to expand our Ti Atis program to P.S. 361 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

From April 14th – June 16th 2015, HCX implemented a 10-week pilot of Ti Atis programming at P.S. 361. The project was split into two sessions, Haitian Folkloric Dance/Movement and Storytelling and Songs of the Caribbean, and were taught to two separate assembly groups of second grade students for five weeks each. Both sessions were led by Riva Nyri Précil, a singer and dancer of Haitian descent who holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Therapy. Drummer Jean Marie Brignol assisted instruction of the Dance/Movement assemblies.

Additionally, we organized a number of workshops and assemblies in schools including at the Hewitt School with drummer Okai Fleurimont and Westbury Middle School with dancer Peniel Guerrier and his troupe.

We thank all of our Teaching Artists for their time and dedication.

If you would like these types of programs in your school or community, please contact regine@haiticulturalx.org

If you would like to be included in our online roster of teaching artists, please contact programs@haiticulturalx.org

Make a DONATION to our Youth Cultural Engagement programs and support the preservation of Haitian Culture & Heritage!

Read about the HCX Teaching Artists below:

Creative Expression Through Movement with Maxine Montilus

From October 7th to December 10th, HCX invited dancer Maxine Montilus to create a 10-week afterschool program at P.S. 189. With a B.F.A. in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts, and an M.A. in Arts Management from City University London, her students had the opportunity to express themselves through the exploration of dance and written word. Through improvisational theater games, movement, and writing activities, students learned how to integrate choreography and poems/writings into a multi-disciplinary performance incorporating words, music and dance.  Some topics that were explored included identity, favorite things, and family.

Discovering the Music of the African Diaspora with Okai Fleurimont

From January 10th to March 18th, HCX invited musician Okai Fleurimont to create a 10-week afterschool program at P.S. 189. Okai has worked with many different community based organizations such as Hospital Audience Incorporate (HAI), WorldUp.org, and Hip Hop Saves Lives, teaching children how to write lyrics, produce a beat, and provides opportunities for youth to share their ideas and foster their creative development.  Students were taught how to play percussion instruments and given an introduction to the different African diaspora musical genres, learning the different rhythms and breaks and discovering how in depth music goes.  By giving students the knowledge of the history and struggle that influenced certain periods of time helps them better understand the music they listen to now.

Mural Creation with Patrick Icart Pierre

From March 20th to June 27th, HCX was happy to invite back Patrick Icart Pierre for a 10-week after school mural project at P.S. 189. Pierre has worked as an art teacher at the Harlem School of The Arts and currently works at M.S. 246 in Brooklyn New York, instilling his appreciation for art in the public school system. With the belief that murals give voice and presence to those communities and historical events often excluded in our society – women, people of color, gender issues, working class people, freedom fighters, etc. – participating students got a chance to understand that creating art is a way to go beyond the textbook and encourage everyone to get out into the community.  The completed mural incorporated local concerns, oral histories and photos, and other references, accessing the richness and wisdom of their communities, and students’ families.

Haitian Folkloric Dance and Movement with Riva Nyri Précil

From April 14th to June 16th, HCX invited musician Riva Nyri Précil for a 10-week, two session program for 2nd grade students at P.S. 361. With a degree in Music Therapy at Loyola University in New Orleans, and a completed Music Therapy internship at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, she has had the opportunity to teach music, art and movement to a wide variety of populations in diverse settings. Focusing on exposing Second Grade students to traditional Haitian folkloric dance, Précil provided an introduction to Haiti’s oral history through storytelling and folk songs.  With the first five weeks focusing on Haitian folkloric dance and movement, students had the opportunity to learn basic dance elements with an invitation to participate in a short performance.  The last five weeks focused on storytelling & songs of the Caribbean, students learned traditional songs and learned lessons through stories that include a moral.  Students were also invited to participate in a short performance.

Posted in Archive, Classes, Crafts, Dance, HCX Programs, Ti Atis, Visual Art, Youth Programs | 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 »

Haiti Film Fest 2015 | That’s a wrap! – by Jessica Tong, Programs & Outreach Coordinator

05.20.15

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Cut, print! That’s a wrap!  The third biennial Haiti Film Fest came to a close on May 17, 2015!  Take a look below for a recap of the 2015 festival.  Click here to view the full film fest schedule.

Extending the Film Fest from a long weekend to seven days, the third biennial Haiti Film Fest was full of interesting topics. Screening over 15 films by filmmakers from Haiti, Cuba, the United States and Europe, the festival drew over 1,000 attendees who came to show their support and engage in conversations on pertinent issues affecting the lives of Haitians, both at home and in the Diaspora. Films covered a wide range of topics including the environment, grief, dictatorial regimes, spiritual movements, love, thwarted coups, class and identity, and even Haitian martial arts! Joined by filmmakers, cinephiles, scholars and the overall New York Community, the conversation continued beyond the screening room and into the homes and communities of participants.

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Sanba Zao and Friends performing at DROM NYC for Haiti Film Fest Opening Night

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Left to right: Rachelle Salnave, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Michèle Stephenson, & Ella Turenne

Kicking things off on Thursday, May 7th for the Opening Night of Haiti Film Fest, we returned to DROM NYC for a night of fun, dancing, live music and support.  Our VIP guests were treated to an exclusive pre-reception where they received a complementary Haiti Film Fest tote and were invited to sample a mix of hors d’oeuvres while they mingled with fellow members and VIP guests.  Doors opened to the general public at 8pm as attendees continued to mingle and take pictures with friends, filmmakers and celebrities.  Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee Member Michèle Stephenson hit the stage welcoming distinguished guests and thanking everyone for taking the time to support Haiti Cultural Exchange.  Haiti-based radio personality, Carel Pedre, served as our host and MC for the evening.  Carel spoke on the importance of the festival and of story telling through the medium of film.  Screening two short films, Freedom by Matthew Brown and La Veuve by Wood-Jerry Gabriel of the Cine Institute, guests were given  a glimpse of the screenings to come.  Sanba Zao kicked off the musical portion of the evening with live drumming bringing everyone a taste of authentic Haitian rasin music.  Following Sanba Zao was NYC’s newest underground rap artist Ioan Delice.  Debuting his new song Petit Pays dedicated to Haiti, he rapped over a mixture of  traditional Haitian sounds and Hip Hop beats, an instant favorite with the crowd.  Ending the night with DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry’s new world sound, Opening Night was a fun-filled way to kickoff this year’s Film Fest.

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Edwidge Danticat and Joseph Hillel at the City College of New York

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BuildOn volunteers at the Brooklyn Public Library

Friday, May 8th was the first day of the Film Fest and we screened Ayiti Toma by Joseph Hillel.  Held at the City College of New York, the director joined us for a post film Q&A moderated by prolific literary author, Edwidge Danticat.  A heated point of discussion, for instance, came as guests questioned the director’s choice to include non-Haitians as representative of the Haitian narrative.

On Saturday, May 9th we screened three different movies; Black Dawn by Robin Lloyd and Doreen Kraft, Port-au-Prince Mon Seul et Unique Amour by Arnold Antonin, and In the Eye of the Spiral by Eve Blouin & Raynald Leconte at the Brooklyn Public Library.  Guests wandered in and out of the screening room holding conversations on the importance of archiving history, debunking myths and stereotypes.  Joined by student volunteers from the nonprofit organization BuildOn, the students participated in  “Enlightenment Bulbs” with each student writing what they learned from the day’s screenings.  Take a look at some comments made by the students:

•I learned that Haiti became the first black republic, gaining independence on January 1st, 1804.
•I enjoyed the film and learned valuable information about the independence of Haiti.
•The Haiti Film Fest is an eye opener.  To see the history behind Haiti, it’s worth it!
•George Corvington was very enthusiastic about his history.  It was really colorful.
•Today as I was watching the film, I enjoyed learning about Haiti’s Culture and battle to freedom.

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Entire crew of Forever Yours by Patrick Ulysse

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Director Rachelle Salnave with her family

On Sunday, May 10th we returned to St. Francis College for a special Mother’s Day screening of Forever Yours by Patrick Ulysse, Donoma by Djinn Carrénard, and La Belle Vie: The Good Life by Rachelle Salnave, and two shorts; one from the Global Empowerment Movement and Sweet Tea by Natalie Paul. Ulysse, the director of Forever Yours, joined us for our first post-film discussion, moderated by Film Fest Advisory Committee Member, Curtis John. Ulysse displayed humility noting that the film was a community project. Audience members got a chance to experience that sense of community when the entire film cast, from sound production, to makeup and editing, were invited on stage.  The Donoma Q&A was moderated by Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee Member, Michèle Stephenson.  Debuted in 2012, director Carrénard made this movie with a budget of 150 euros. Another community based film, Carrénard had friends and family contribute to this project which explored the complexities of human relationships.  Following the Carrénard Q&A, guests were invited to a special Mother’s Day reception held before our final screening, the highly anticipated New York Premiere of La Belle Vie: The Good Life. A post-film discussion with director Rachelle Salnave was moderated by media professional, Daphne Leroy. The audience was mesmerized with Salnave’s ability to aesthetically convey her eagerness to discover “the good life” she so often heard her parents speak of during her childhood. Many were impressed with the director’s cinematic ability to portray beauty in a country where mainstream media and films have only focused on devastation and calamity.

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Left to right: David Belle, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, and Christian Ugbode at Kraine Theatre

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Millery Polyné moderator of Haitian Corner at Brooklyn Historical Society

On Monday, May 11th we had an Evening of Shorts at the Kraine Theatre in the Lower East Side.  Screening three shorts from Ciné Institute, Haiti’s only free school for film, as well as Freedom, a short by Matthew Brown, and Papa Machete a short by Jonathan David Kane.  Moderated by Christian Ugbode of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), we were joined by the Director of Ciné Institute David Belle and Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, producer of Papa Machete for our post-film discussion. Questions ranged in specificity to each film, but the overall arching theme of the night was the relationship between the film industry and Haiti, and what it means for Haiti’s future.  The short films presented on this day showed the importance of diversity within media and platforms that allow multiple opportunities for emerging artist to share their stories.  The landmark Brooklyn Historical Society was the perfect venue for our screening of the classic, Haitian Corner on Tuesday, May 12th. Directed by the critically acclaimed Raoul Peck, Haitian Corner was Peck’s first feature length film.  Surrounded by historical artifacts and the vibrant history that made Brooklyn, Haitian Corner was a flashback to life in the 80’s.  Moderated by NYU Professor Millery Polyné, we held an open forum after the screening. Conversations revolved around major themes, placing the film in historical context,  unpacking the use of key phrases used in the film, and the artistic sensibilities of the director.

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Left to right: Catherine Murphy, Pam Sporn and Carolle Charles at Maysles Cinema

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Skype interview with Remoh Romeo and Tirf Alexius at the Queens Public Library

On Wednesday, May 13th we screened Reembarque/Reshipment by Gloria Rolando at Maysles Cinema in Harlem.  This thoughtful documentary explored the history of Haitian migrant workers who arrived en masse to Cuba and the social and political complication that occurred as a result.  During our panel discussion with Carolle Charles, Pam Sporn and Catherine Murphy, audience members expressed intense interest in delving further into the historical connections between Haiti and Cuba, the role of the Cuban government in the disenfranchisement of the Haitian people, and the complexities of cultural identity.  On Thursday, May 14th we reached out to our fellow Haitians in Jamaica, Queens screening Lakay by Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo at the Central Library: Queens Library.  Theirs is a story of return to a forgotten homeland, a journey to rediscover their Haitian roots and reconnect with family in the aftermath of 2010 the earthquake. As Alexius and Romeo joined our post-discussion via Skype, it was clear that the film had touched a nerve. The audience was moved by their touching story.  Some expressed frustration and even anger at the rate of progress and development within Haiti. But mostly, the audience was elated that there was finally a dialogue among disconnected family members.

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Left to right: Leslie Fields-Cruz, Mario Delatour & Michelle Materre at FiveMyles Gallery

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Film Fest attendee asks director Mario Delatour a question

The Film Fest went out with a bang as we returned to our home base, FiveMyles Gallery on Friday, May 15th. We screened Storming Papa Doc by Mario Delatour to a packed house.  In addition to narrative interviews, Delatour’s documentary brilliantly incorporates animation to re-enact accounts of the historic siege of Haiti’s Casernes Dessalines on July 28th 1958.  The director joined Film Fest Advisory Committee Members Michelle Materre and Leslie Fields-Cruz of NBPC for an engaging conversation.  Audience members expressed their appreciation for the film and its importance in archiving and recording such a significant chapter in the country’s history. They wondered how Delatour came to be granted access to these government officials, and how he was able to get such candid disclosure regarding the events of that infamous evening.  It was a fitting way to end the festival and we were pleased to have Mario join us from Haiti to be part of the Q & A.

We extend special thanks to all of YOU for attending the festival; and our sincere gratitude to the Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee, volunteers, venue & outreach partners, sponsors, moderators and filmmakers for their support.

Click here to take a look at pictures from the Haiti Film Fest Opening Night Reception!

Click here to take a look at pictures throughout the festival!

The third biennial Haiti Film Fest took place from May 7-15th, 2015.

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 HCX | Haiti Film Fest Advisory Committee

Arnold Antonin ·  Fritz Archer · Marc Baptiste · David Belle · Edwidge Danticat
Jonathan Demme · Guetty Felin · Henry Louis Gates Jr. · Curtis John · Jerry Lamothe
Anne Lescot · Michelle Materre · Michèle Stephenson  · Patrick Ulysse
Marc Henry Valmond · Frantz Voltaire

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The Haiti Film Fest is supported thanks to the generosity of:

HFF Sponsors (1)

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Haiti Film Fest | Media Partners

HFF Media Partners (1)

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Haiti Film Fest | Venue Parters

HFF Venue Partners

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Haiti Film Fest | Community Partners

Artists for Peace and Justice · Artists Institute · Black Documentary Film Collective
Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective · Center for Traditional Music and Dance/ Verite Sou Tanbou
Centre International De Documentation & D’Information Haitienne Caraïbéenne & Afrocanadienne (CIDIHCA)
Collectif 2004 Images · Cornbread & Cremasse · Creatively Speaking Film Series
Haitian Roundtable · Toussaint Louverture Cultural Foundation

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

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