The Ghetto Biennale is an international arts festival that was held for the first time in December 2009, just one month before the earthquake that devastated Port-Au-Prince Haiti in 2010. As far as Biennales go, it is one of the most innovative, rule-breaking, and dynamic art festivals in the world. Join is in recreating that by supporting our two projects: The Tele Ghetto Project, and A Dialogue on Vodou Project.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE 2ND GHETTO BIENNALE
Let’s think back to the aftermath of the earthquake, and remember images of devastation and relief that poured into Haiti. The amount of relief resources and international attention dedicated to Haiti after the earthquake were powerful. But what is happening in Haiti now? How has Port-au-Prince been developed since then?
The reality is that the majority of the city has yet to be rebuilt, and tens of thousands are living in tent cities, dependent on trickles of foreign aid. Even though Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, it is culturally rich. Our projects work directly with the Grand-Rue community to celebrate that culture. The 2nd Ghetto Biennale is the local and international proclamation that Haiti “may be fallen, but it is not destroyed.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PROJECTS
What makes our projects unique is that they are collaborations with local artists and Vodou priests from the Grand Rue area. This year’s Ghetto Biennale is incredibly important because it is the first Biennale to be held after the earthquake.
You can join the Ghetto Biennale by supporting our two projects! Together, we can work with local artists and professionals to make films and photographs that celebrate the vibrance and resilience of Haiti. The beauty of art is that is can put us present, and grant us access to a place and a culture that we have never been. Help us bring your care and interest to Haiti. And in turn, we will bring the energy and insight of our collaborators- Tele Geto and the Vodou Lwa- to you!
YOU GET TWO FOR ONE! OUR PROJECTS
THE TELE GETO PROJECT by Roberto Gomez
For my project, I will collaborate with Tele Geto, a group of young Haitian digital artists. Together, we will produce a series of videos and a web based marketing strategy to make them more visible on the internet.
Tele Geto was started during the first Biennale, when two members made a video camera from a plastic quart of oil, and a microphone from a stick. They decided to “ghost film” the event, and uncover the stories they deemed important. They even interviewed the National Minister of Culture when when arrived the event. Tele Geto is about celebrating empowering young, local voices.
My project will provide resources and training for Tele Geto, and it will help directly connect them through digital media to you. Together, we will strengthen their local voice and broaden their global voice.
A DIALOGUE ON VODOU PROJECT by Floris Schönfeld
Camera: John Treffer, External advisor: Maria van Daalen
For the 2nd international Ghetto Biennale I will attempt to hold a series of conversations with the Vodou spirits, or Lwa as they are known in Haiti. The topic of these conversations will be belief and religion and how these affect human existence both in Haiti and beyond.
These discussions will take place through what ever medium the Lwa decide is appropriate. This could include anything from a verbal discussion, to a dance, to the trading of symbolic objects. These ‘conversations’ will be documented on film and these films will be exhibited during the final exhibition of the Biennale as filmic portraits of the Lwa. The Lwa will be invited to participate in these conversations through a specially designed public ceremony that will take place in the Grande Rue area at the beginning of the Biennale.
I look forward to collaborating with a number of vodou Hougan (priests) and Manbo’s (priestesses) from the Grande Rue area as well as spirit drummers and a translator for this project. It is my hope that through my conversations with the spirits I am able to reveal some of the magical workings of a very beautiful and vibrant religion and share my findings with you.
THE REASONS WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
Our projects will not be possible without your support! You will have a direct hand in our work with Tele Geto and with the Lwa, and will gain direct access to them through our creative work.
We will be working with local collaborators, young artists, and Vodou priests, and they all deserve to be justly compensated for their work. A portion of your support will be used to present them with a professional wage. Another portion of your support will be used for the purchase of audio visual equipment to be used by the community after we leave. Lastly, there are several types of production costs, lodging, transportation, software, generators, etc. that will all be covered by your contributions.
SHOULD I KEEP FUNDING YOU AFTER YOU MEET YOUR GOAL?
Absolutely! We have budgeted the minimum amount to execute our projects- all of the materials and resources add up. Funding beyond our goal will be not only elaborate our projects in Haiti, but will also be used to increase their reach in post- production. That is, extra funding will help us make our work even more dynamic and connect to more people. The more resources we have, the more we can extend the reach of the 2nd Ghetto Biennale!
- (30 days)