Tag Archives: representation

Untitled. Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982.

Untitled conveys Jean-Michel Basquiat’s possession of an encyclopaedic intellect and prodigious ability to communicate a highly evocative yet masterfully succinct visual code. Fascinated by his own cultural heritage, his father of Haitian descent, this painting speaks to the legacy of white colonisation and black servitude. Bearing the emblematical three-pointed crown bracketed by, in large capital letters, […]

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Sculpture vaudou fon, Bénin

Sculpture vaudou fon, Bénin, Bois, pierre, fer, terre cuite et patine sacrificielle, 57 x 56 x 35 cm, Collection Anne et Jacques Kerchache, Photo © Yuji Ono, Exposition Vaudou, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 5 avril › 25 sept. 2011

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Modernism, Exoticism, Erasure: Jeanne Duval

Duval, like so many others, has been largely erased from history. Franklin Sirman, “Les Fleurs Duval,” Artnet.com (17 November 1998) Sweltering Africa and languorous Asia, A whole far-away world, absent, almost defunct, Dwells in your depths, aromatic forest! While other spirits glide on the wings of music, Mine, O my love! floats upon your perfume. […]

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Cécile Fatiman, Boukman Dutty & Bois Caiman

The old slave woman, intimate of the gods, buries her machete in the throat of a black wild boar. The earth of Haiti drinks the blood. Under the protection of the gods of war and of fire, two hundred blacks sing and dance the oath of freedom. In the prohibited voodoo ceremony aglow with lightning […]

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Léon-Gontran Damas, 28 March 1912 – 22 January 1978

Twenty years before Frantz Fanon had organized the concept of “the colonized personality” into psychoanalytic theory, Pigments, a book of poems published in 1937 by Leon Damas, revealed the anguish of what has come to be known by that term. Ellen Conroy Kennedy, “Leon Damas: Pigments and the Colonized Personality,” Black World/Negro Digest (January 1972) […]

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Detours and Distance: An Interview with J. Michael Dash

Born in Trinidad, J. Michael Dash (20 July 1948 – 2 June 2019) was a professor in the Departments of French and Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University who has written extensively on Haitian and French Caribbean literature. His publications include Culture and Customs of Haiti (2001), The Other America: Caribbean Literature in a […]

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Haitian Politics Explained

Teddy Keser Mombrun in Le Nouvelliste (2011). Source: Cartoon Movement (via @bhatiap). Click on image for larger version.

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Surrealism and Haiti

Jean Duché: It seems you had a hand in the Haitian revolution. Could you comment on exactly what happened? André Breton: Let’s not exaggerate. At the end of 1945, the poverty, and consequently the patience, of the Haitian people had reached a breaking point. You have to realize that, on the huge Ile de la Gonave […]

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