Lakou NOU 2018 | Demanbre: Herbal Wellness and Haitian Heritage by Sirene Dantor Sainvil

 

Demanbre_Herbal Wellness and Haitian Heritage

Sirene Dantor Sainvil (Canarsie) is a Haitian culture preservationist who used her passions to develop Fanmi Asòtò, a Haitian cultural organization whose drum performance, community workshops, and herbal teachings are rooted in Haitian Vodou. Sainvil seeks to encourage identity building for all Haitians but particularly for Haitian American youth. Paying homage to the asòtò drum, the mother of all African descended drums, her mission is to encourage identity building for all Haitians but particularly for Haitian American youth who are the next generation of Haitian culture and Vodou.

As part of  her Lakou NOU 2018 residency, she is developing research to answer the question: Where is the heritage of Haitian people in Canarsie preserved? How do we participate in it?

Her goal is to use her skill as a Haitian culture preservationist, singer, and Vodou herbalist to learn about the culture in Brooklyn communities, document the changes in Canarsie, and encourage people to visit Canarsie spaces. She seeks to create spaces for community dialogue through her “Fey Nan Bwa” workshops.

These workshops will take place in each of the four main Lakou/Haitian communities delineated through the Lakou NOU program – Flatbush, East Flatbush, Canarsie, and Crown Heights. They intend to create a space where people can talk, learn about tradition, and share stories about their history in Brooklyn and in the Canarsie community.

Sirene says, “At Fey Nan Bwa people, Haitian and otherwise, coming out learn about things they never knew. It is a way to have people be in fellowship with one another.”

Current workshop dates include:

Fey Nan Bwa Series | Flatbush to Canarsie
DATE/TIME: Saturday, April 28th | 1-3pm
LOCATION: Q Gardens Community Farm | 70 E 18th St, Brooklyn, NY 11226
ADMISSION: FREE | RSVP HERE

Fey Nan Bwa Series | East Flatbush to Canarsie
DATE/TIME: Saturday, May 19th | 1-5pm
LOCATION: Brooklyn Fete | 70 E 18th St, Brooklyn, NY 11226
ADMISSION: $20

Fey Nan Bwa Series | Canarsie 
DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 3rd | 1-3pm
DATE/TIME: Saturday, July 7th | 2-4pm
LOCATION: Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum | 5816 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203
ADMISSION: FREE

Sirene’s culminating event will occur:

DATE/TIME: Friday, July 27th | 6-9pm
LOCATION: Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum | 5816 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203
ADMISSION: FREE

This event is about presenting the research I have completed in Canarsie and with residents. Through it attendees will prioritize making long lasting relationships and friendships. I hope to activate our tradition through Vodou to pay homage to our ancestors, use their energy and strength to be a part of the legacy to preserve Haitian Culture in Canarsie and to facilitate connectedness there. Bringing together a community of Vodouist with guests, and through the power of the drums, “Demanbre” seeks to create a sense of pride and power within us despite circumstances that encourage separation and negativity. The ultimate goal is to treat this residency as the beginning of a longer process for building community in Canarsie and building demand for Haitian culture preservation there.

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