whistle posse! Its our last night in Haiti, and we’re back in Port-au-Prince, ready to head to the airport tomorrow morning… here are a some favourite memories from the trip…
There’s a popular saying here that Haitians are like sugar – they disappear in the rain. Our trip’s been at the end of the rainy season so we experienced a few sudden downpours. But the kids didn’t mind getting a bit wet – One of our best shows was when we were rained out and decided to put up a makeshift screen in a lean-to… ending up with an explosively excited and very appreciative audience packed into a very small area.
G. hanging out with future pop stars… definitely our best memories are going to be the larger than life characters we met in Hait – Jean Michel, Junior, Tracey, Berlynne, Roosevelt, George and especially the kids in our audience… we salute you!
Over the weekend we had our biggest audiences so far for this trip – up to 400 children and adults a night….
Our MC – Junior (in the baseball cap) – did an excellent job of organising a big crowd of very excited kids for the pre-film open mic singing and rap competition…
Tuesday is going to be our last night in Jakmel – we’ll be taking the cinema out of town to a little rural camp in the countryside. Then on Wednesday we’re off to Leogane for our last week in Haiti.
This week it was Ghede, the celebrations around the vodou day of the dead, and on Wednesday night we went to a vodou ceremony. Back in January HKKP put on a night of films about Vodou at the Cube Cinema as a fund raiser for this trip – and also to try and counter balance the misleading image of vodou that has been spread by Hollywood mythology around the world. In fact vodou must be one of the misrepresented religions in the world…
Our experience on Wednesday was one of social celebration with drumming, singing, dancing… (and quite a lot of rum).
If you’re interested in finding out more about Vodou, two films we’d recommend searching out are Laurence Magloire’s Des Hommes et Dieux, and Maya Derren / Teiji Ito’s Divine Horsemen.
The Haiti Kids Kino Project is going back to Haiti for a second trip…
On October 18th three Cube volunteers will be flying out to do four weeks of outdoor cinema and video workshops with children displaced by the 2010 earthquake.
This time the team will be going to Jacmel, a town on the south coast, where we’ll be showing a selection of the best international children’s films in tent cities; and at the workshops children will be able to learn how to make short animations and videos.
Its been 15 months since the first HKKP trip to Haiti (you can see a video about that trip here). During that time a lot of fundraising events have taken place in and around Bristol and we’d like to say a big Thank You to everyone whose contributed. The second trip was originally scheduled for the beginning of this year, but due to the outbreak of Cholera and general unrest around the time of the election, it was postponed. Sadly some of the people who put in loads of work for that postponed trip aren’t able to come this time due to work and life commitments – we’d like to say a huge thank you to them for all the effort they put in.
pictures : HKKP’s March/April trip to Port-au-Prince and Leogane.
We’ll be posting blog entries, photos and videos during the next weeks…
Big thanks to Claire Simmons and all the media students at Filton College for making us this great film to take out with us and show to kids in Haiti. It’ll be so much fun screening it as they’ve given us the inflatable globe featured in the film to toss out into the audiences in Haiti, as well as the flag with scores of greetings from the Filton students. The students also staged a fundraising cabaret show and donated the proceeds to HKKP, allowing us to put on yet more screenings out in Haiti, so again, huge thanks to all of you at Filton College who made this happen!
Haiti Kids Kino Project at Hay Festival from Kids Kino on Vimeo.
HKKP was invited to run a one day workshop at this year’s Hay Festival. This is a short film called “From Hay to Haiti” made up of pictures and animations created by children and young people on the day… A big Thank You to everyone who took part!
Here’s a new film made from footage of the Haiti Kids Kino Project’s visit to Haiti in March and April 2010. Many thanks to everyone in the film! The locations that are featured are in Delmas and Cite Soeil in Port au Prince, and in Leogane.
8pm Friday 21st January – £4 entry
The Cube Cinema will be showing the amazing 2002 documentary Des Hommes et Dieux which looks at the role of gay men in the Vodou religion. There’ll also be an introductory talk by vodou expert Dr Bettina Schmidt, plus clips from Hollywood “voodoo” movies, a secret surprise extra screening, and DJ The Janitor from QuJunctions spinning Haitian sounds in the bar.
Vodou flags , Petionville March 2010
Haitian Vodou must be one of the most misrepresented religions in the world.
Since 1932’s White Zombie starring Bela Lugosi, Hollywood movies have portrayed “voodoo” as being about black magic and zombies.
In fact Vodou is a complex mix of Western African religions brought over by the original slave population, which incorporated the iconography of the slave masters’ Roman Catholicism and Free Masonry.
It is also a deeply egalitarian, communal, and artistically creative religion which has stubbornly survived two centuries of negative propaganda from the ex-colonial powers and evangelical Christianity.
Tonight’s event is an opportunity to see some films that are very rarely screened in the UK and find out about a religion and culture that is often deeply misunderstood.
“I am always in support of events that educate people about Vodou. The negative connotation of Vodou can be traced back to the time of the slave rebellion in the 18th century and has never stopped to harm the image of Haiti and the religion. It’s appalling that so many people in the US, UK, and elsewhere still believe the Hollywood Zombie movie idea of Vodou” Dr. Bettina Schmidt, editor of “Spirit Possession and Trance”
This event is particularly relevant given news stories about the murder of vodou priests in “retaliation” for the current cholera outbreak in Haiti.
About Des Hommes et Dieux
Prevalent, yet still taboo in Haitian society, homosexuality and gay culture are allowed to flourish within the context of the Vodou religion. As “children of the gods,” the men find an explanation for homosexuality as well as divine protection. They also find an outlet for theatrical expression through exhilarating performances in which they embody the gods. Meanwhile, the AIDS epidemic looms as a continual threat and adds a disquieting degree of nihilism to their relatively optimistic attitudes toward life and happiness in Port-au-Prince.