“Spirit Desire : – Resistance, Imagination and Sacred Memories in Haitian Vodoun”
My goal is to raise $5,000 for photographer’s expenses including two Haitian collaborators, to document the July ceremonies as well as to visit other Lakou and Vodoun Societies I have come to know in Gonaïves.
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“When we invest in each other’s art forms, each other’s dreams, we invest in a right relationship to love” Alexis De Veaux
“Spirit Desire” is a celebration of Haitian Vodoun as a site of resistance, decolonization and community. The series which includes images of everyday living, ritual and ceremony, aims to shift the gaze from representations that depict Vodoun as negative and present a decolonizing narrative: one in which Vodouisants engage with a consciousness and spirituality that celebrates our humanity rather than focusing on a set of prescribed normative identities.
Exploring the dance, song, possession, drumming, aesthetics and ritual of Vodoun through photography allows me to express the freedom of an unbound imagination that recognizes the power of the self and the spirit within us as a multidimensional force which stretches far into the past and into the future.
Why It’s Important
It is important for me to document a series of ceremonies that will take place in July 2016 as a continuation of my photography work in Haiti over the past three years . These particular ceremonies take place once every seven years over a period of 4 weeks and celebrate multiple spiritual presences known as the Loa.
The ceremonies take place at Lakou Badjo which is the oldest of the Grand Lakou [Spiritual Compound] of Gonaïves, founded in 1792 by Badjo Pady the son of a Yoruba ensalved man, Azo Pady. Vodoun was central to the Haitian revolution and continues to be an integral aspect of Haitian culture and a site of resistance.