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Lakou Nou 2020-2021 | Culminating Event Recap


In June 19 in Rogers Tilden Veronica Place Block Association Community Garden, HCX hosted the 2021 Lakou NOU Culminating Event from 4-9pm to showcase the works of 2020-2021 artists in residence AnJu Hyppolite, Daveed Baptiste, and Guerdley Cajus.
The Lakou NOU Artist Residency Program provides artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to historically underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush. Lakou NOU artists develop collaborative community engagement projects that address neighborhood issues and highlight community assets. The event showcases the artists’ exploration of what it means to be Haitian American, to belong to two cultures, two worlds, and to be Black in America, while also staying true to your heritage.
The artist projects are as follows:
Daveed Baptiste is a multidisciplinary maker working in fashion design, photography, and textiles. His migration from Haiti to America inspires all of his work. As an immigrant and queer person, his work examines the multidimensional identities of the Caribbean diaspora living in the United States. Through collaborative projects and various mediums, his work aims to decolonize notions of race, gender, and class within the Haitian community and greater Caribbean diaspora. He is a recent Parsons graduate with a BFA in Fashion Design. His photographs have been published in The New Yorker and VOGUE, and he has exhibited at Red Hook Labs and Aperture.
Daveed’s Lakou Nou project, Between Lands (East Flatbush) combines photography, printmaking, and textile design to center Haitian-American youths’ migration stories. His portraits of graduating high school seniors illustrate their dreams and imaginations in America. Daveed worked closely with The Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project and Rogers/Tilden/Veronica Place Garden to produce this work. He will host a pop-up screenprinting workshop on Photoville’s opening day in front of the exhibition.


Daveed Baptiste, Between Lands, Photographic Portraits, 2020.
Daveed Baptiste, Between Lands, Textile Collage, 2021.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were no graduation ceremonies in 2020. To honor the hard work and successes of newly arrived graduating Haitian youth, Daveed Baptiste partnered with The Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project and Rogers Tilden Veronica Garden to create portraits of graduating high school seniors that illustrate their dreams and imaginations in America. Before photographing, Daveed spent hours interviewing participants and working with them. These textile collages reflect each individual’s uniqueness. Daveed worked closely with The Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project and Rogers Tilden Veronica Garden to produce this work.
Guerdley Cajus is a Bed Stuy based artist who believes in the medicinal magic of movement. Her movement artwork has been featured in campaigns for New Balance, Vice, iD, and most recently Jessie Woo’s GRAMMYs at Home performance for the Recording Academy. She is also a Voice Over Artist, Teaching Artist, Yogi and Doula IT.
Guerdley’s Lakou Nou project, Body Poems (Crown Heights) confronts the ongoing erasure of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) voices by placing a lens on the untold stories of Haitian people. Guerdley spent her residency interviewing participants and leading workshops, in which individuals’ stories inspired movement that reclaims power and facilitates healing. Additionally, Guerdley danced at locations in Crown Heights where the brutalization of women took place to honor those women, cleanse those spaces, and claim Black female power. The culminating event features images from those performances and a dance video examining how erasure takes up space in the Black body. Guerdley will also lead a pop-up movement workshop on Photoville’s opening day in front of the exhibition. Her dance video is available to view below.
Guerdley Cajus, Body Poems, Video (4 minutes), 2021.
Choreographed and produced by Guerdley Cajus, featuring dance performances by Guerdley Cajus, Stephanie Pena and Imani Wilburg. Cinematography by Jonathan Dexter. Set design by Steven Baboun, assisted by Yvena Despagne. Gown Design by Naana Ohene. Mask Design by Charlotte Charles.
Guerdley devoted her Lakou NOU residency to countering the ongoing erasure of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) voices by placing a lens on the untold stories of Haitian women. Guerdley spent her residency interviewing participants, and conducting workshops in which individuals’ stories inspired movement that embodies self actualization and facilitates healing. With choreography inspired by participants’ love letters to Black women, Body Poems examines how erasure takes shape in the black body, and reclaims power through movement, affirmation and reimagination.
Guerdley Cajus, Shaping Space, 2021.
Site specific dance performance by Guerdley Cajus, Love letters to Black women by Natasha Gaspard, Madjeen Isaac, and Claudia Maturell. Photography by Emily Schiffer.
Guerdley Cajus visited locations throughout Crown Heights where Black women have been brutalized. To honor these women, cleanse space and reclaim the Black woman’s body, Guerdley danced at each location. Fliers explaining her performance were distributed onsite, and viewers were invited to write love letters to Black women.
Guerdley Cajus, acrylic paint on mirror, 2021
Viewers are invited to see themselves in quotations from Guerdley Cajus’ participant’s interviews.

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DIASPORA NOW presents: Jessica St. Vil-Ulysse and KaNu Dance Theater


DIASPORA NOW presents: Jessica St. Vil-Ulysse and KaNu Dance Theater

Haiti Cultural Exchange’s programs are made possible in part through funding support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Thursday, July 1 at 6:30 pm

Plant Family Garden

Jessica St. Vil and KaNu Dance Theater present Haitian folkloric dance

Jessica St. Vil and KaNu Dance Theater present excerpts of KaNu choreographed by Jessica St. Vil; a fusion of traditional and contemporary Haitian dance. Choreography explores how we can collectively draw on our strengths to address inequity and injustice.

FREE community tickets will be available via Brooklyn Botanic Garden website 2 weeks prior to the event.

Check out the event page for more updates.

Jessica St. Vil-Ulysse

Jessica St. Vil is a first-generation Haitian American dancer, educator, and choreographer who grew up in Queens, NY. A graduate of Lehman College, Ms. St. Vil received her B.A. in Mass Communications and Dance. She continued her training on scholarship with the Alvin Ailey School’s professional division. She has worked with choreographers (Christopher Huggins, Martial Roumain, Marcea Daiter, and more); performed with several dance theater companies (Feet of Rhythm, Joan Peter’s Dance Company, and Vissi Dance Theater, and National Ballet Folkloric of Haiti). Jessica has collaborated with Unimix films to choreograph a short film (“One More Try”) and their award-winning feature film (Forever Yours). She was honored by the National Museum of Women and the Haitian Embassy in recognition of her choreographic work. Jessica is the artistic director of KaNu Dance Theater, a co-founder of Danse Xpressions ”Center for the Arts”. She is featured in Dance Portal, an ongoing exhibit providing instruction in traditional Haitian dance at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan with her work “Let’s Dance”. She recently choreographed an original dance drama, “Zatrap,” written by playwright Jean Claude Eugene. Currently, Jessica is on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey School’s Professional Division teaching Dunham-based techniques and is also a Teaching Artist with various Arts in Education programs throughout New York City. Miss St. Vil is currently enrolled as a 3rd-year certification candidate with the Institute for Dunham Technique and Certification.


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Rasin Lakay features Mikaelle Cartright


Ayiti, gade andedan

“Haiti, look inside” (Ayiti, gade andedan), is a talk/ musical presentation aimed at revisiting the many woes facing Haiti’s already vulnerable population and taking a look at what they, as a people, need at the most basic and deepest levels. I will call into question our past and present responses to the many hardships facing the population and make suggestions on how each individual can play a role in changing the narrative. I believe that by developing a knowledge of self, nurturing a connection to the planet, and embracing non-traditional ideas, Haiti can find a better way for all its children to not only survive, but thrive. It is time to look inside.

Click on the image below to watch Ayiti, gade adedan:

Screen Shot 2021-06-10 at 2.51.35 PM


Mikaelle Aimee Cartright is a Haitian American performing artist and fledgling philanthropist based in NYC. Her music ranges from soft rock to the Blues, Jazz, and Soul. In addition to singing, she plays guitar, writes music, embroiders, and crafts elaborate headpieces. Although music is her passion, her desire to help others is intensifying day by day as she finds herself expanding towards philanthropy.

She is currently in the research phase of creating a program she believes will greatly assist non-profit organizations with the implementation of early-childhood education programs, peer-to-peer mentorship, and eco-volunteerism programs.


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Rasin Lakay features Pascale Faublas



“FANM is the title of my current series, which started in 2018.

This body of work questions the feminine condition, femininity and its attributes. My reflection feeds on symbols, experiences, clichés and prejudices, proverbs and sayings, representations, metaphors that I draw from the Christian judeo culture and from the universe of Haitian vodou.  Witch are entitled Freda, Manman Zanfan, Fanm pa Lavyèj, Eve, Fanm se Poto Mitan, or Miwa Fanm this series is a gallery of contemporary feminine spirits. She plays a universal woman, affirmative, subversive, subject of her destiny.

For the HCX Rasin Lakay 2021 Program, I will present works in progress, part of the mini series Miwa FANM as well as pieces of the series Fanm se Poto Mitan. I will share photos and short videos of my work process, images of different steps, different techniques I use for each of the series: painting on paper and canvas, sewing, collage fabric on canvas, collage paper, wax on paper. And, I will share images of the finished works.”

Click on any of the images below to watch Miwa FANM:

Pascale Faublas was born in Port au Prince, Pascale Faublas lives and works in Haiti. After three decades of a prolific artistic career, PASKAL asserts herself as a visual artist in the landscape of contemporary Haitian art; developing her own language, using mixed techniques acquired as an autodidact: collage of printed paper or fabric, ink and acrylic, batik, scraping, sewing, monotype, mixed media …while being based on the search for materials from its environment and on the principles of the art of recovery.

In a process that is both playful and poetic, inhabited by vodou culture, her works explores memory, myth and spirituality. Individual and collective history meet to highlight a political word and develop poetics of forms.

Paskal’s art has been shown both in Haiti (Galerie Jerome, Galerie Monnin, French Institute of Port au Prince, French Alliance in Jacmel, Centre d’Art, Musée du Pantheon National/MUPANAH, Kolektif 509…) and abroad (Paris, Nantes, Suresnes, Guadeloupe, Barcelona).

Find out more about Pascale’s work by following her channels: Facebook | Instagram


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