Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti by Maya Deren

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I have owned this book by Maya Deren since my undergrad when I was introduced to it during my studies at the African New World Studies program at Florida International University. I realize now that my fascination with this book was because it presented Haitian Voodou in such a scientific way that it gave it validity. It finally made Voodou something worth studying replacing my naive knowledge of Voodou at the time as some Haitian superstition that even my mom, born and raised in Haiti wanted me to avoid. After reading Deren’s book, I also read Zora Neale Hurston’s “Tell My Horse: Voodou and Life in Haiti and Jamaica,” and Katherine Dunham’s “Island Possessed.” I have returned to these books as they have become helpful tools in helping me visualize one of the magical realist dream sequence scene in “Caroline’s Wedding.”

Edwidge Danticat Ford Foundation's #ArtOfChange 2017 Fellow

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Announcement from Ford Foundation

Artists and cultural leaders have been at the forefront of social change throughout US history. Today, in the face of growing intolerance and widening inequality, the arts have the power to transform how people view each other and the world around them.
The artists and cultural leaders we’ve selected for Art of Change fellowships all have a demonstrated commitment to social justice and reflect a powerful diversity of experiences and creative voices. Drawn from a wide range of artistic fields, the fellows span generations, backgrounds, geographies, and life experiences—and together tell a rich and varied American story. You can find the official press release here: Ford Foundation

"Hadriana in All My Dreams" by René Depestre

This book has been a source of laughter and intrigue during my summer read. In the way that it humorously juxtaposes Haitian Vodou with Catholicism, "Hadriana in All My Dreams" shows how the "real marvelous" enriches Haitian culture. With echoes of "A Hundred Years of Solitude" throughout, this is yet another great translation by Kaiama Glover who continues to make Haitian literature accessible to audiences worldwide. Happy Summer!

Seydou Keïta & Malick Sidibé

Caroline's Wedding is an attempt to explore Haitian-American memory on the screen. Photographs will play an important part in the film since for many immigrants it's all we have of the past. During my research for Caroline's Wedding I have been fascinated with photographer's Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé both Malian photographers. Their photographs are playful, full of gestures, and they capture such individual personalties. Happy Sunday! 

 Image by Seydou Keita

Image by Seydou Keita

Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren

 Poem by Janaïe Orgella Illustrated by Rogé         

Poem by Janaïe Orgella
Illustrated by Rogé

 

 

 

I love…
A flower, a fruit, a cottage, a man
A multitude of things
The color purple
A small house of straw
A red bird on my roof
A flamboyant
Mauve-yellow, red-pink blossom
One flower, a bouquet of flowers
A green fig
A green window
A thatched cottage of stone
A red mango, another green
An adorned, verdant countryside
A living root
A better life
A country