For many years, the Haitian community, and others who trace their origins to nations of the Caribbean, have lived in Brooklyn communities. However, as gentrification has rapidly increased in recent decades, the face of the neighborhood has changed. Our sense of the history of these communities in Flatbush and East Flatbush is weakening. This is aggravated by the limited resources available for archival work centering lived experiences and community cultural practice.
Funded by a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, StoryCorps connected with Kriyol Dance! Collective (KDC) and engaged in a partnership to formally document the history and legacy of Haitian communities of Flatbush and East Flatbush, to which KDC belongs. Together, the two organizations collected 5 recordings between artists and community members which reflect a shared cultural history and highlight opportunities to strengthen community cultural identity.
Expanding on their practice of rootedness in place and community, Kriyol Dance! Collective opens a space at Weeksville Heritage Center to further engage, interrogate, and expand their work with StoryCorps. Through an afternoon long listening event -- that features recorded excerpts, archival work created by KDC collaborators, live performance, and public conversation about Haitian identity and Black culture in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn -- KDC invites local community members to contribute to a growing and living archive!
12PM - 1:30PM - Introductions; Healing in Movement Workshop
Lead by: Veroneque Ignace Drum: Master Drummer Seeyou
This workshop focuses on providing attendees with the opportunity to explore their own stories through movement, with the ultimate goal of communal meditation and healing.
1:30PM - 2:30PM - StoryCorps Listening Stations
Lead by: Obden Mondesir
This opportunity features archived recordings from KDC’s partnership with StoryCorps. Participating guests will be invited to engage with "KDC's Great Questions List" and to leave thoughts or notes about what they’ve heard.
2PM, 3PM, 4PM - Guided Tours of Historic Hunterfly Road Houses
2:30PM - 3:30PM - Catering by Pikliz Cafe and Lounge
3:30PM - 4:30PM - Musician’s Corner: Group Discussion & Drum Circle
Lead by: Master Drummer Seeyou and KDC Percussionist Okai Musik
This workshop centers dialogue about Haitian immigrant and Haitian-American musicians' lives and experiences as culture-bearers in the diaspora. The workshop also teaches the basics of Haitian drumming and Haitian musical composition.
4:30PM - 5:30PM - Istwa Nan Je Yo: Presentation by Richard Louissaint
First generation Haitian-American filmmaker and photographer, and KDC Collaborator, Richard Louissaint, will present on his endeavor to build an interactive visual project that archives Haitian business in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and, that addresses how place memory can be influenced by rapid gentrification.
5:30PM - 6PM - KDC Performance Excerpt of “Lavi Miyò: On Resistance, Revolution, and Lakou St. Michel Archange
Created by Veroneque Ignace, Kriyol Dance! Artistic director, Lavi Miyò is a collaborative dance, music, and visual arts project that employs storytelling and Haitian traditional music, dance, and oral history. The group will perform a short excerpt of their full-length seminal choreographic work.
6PM - 6:30PM - Performance Q & A