Editorial: Dechouke Boukman (Destroying Boukman), 21 March 1998

In this 1998 editorial, Jean Dominique takes to task the American missionaries who have come to Haiti to proselytize and “dechouke Boukman” — to destroy the reputation of Boukman, a slave who was one of the early leaders of the Haitian Revolution.  Boukman is said to have led a ceremony at Bois Caïman, which missionaries describe as a “pact with the devil.”  In tearing down Boukman, Dominique argues, evangelicals not only disparage the vodou religion, but also undermine the very legitimacy of the Haitian Revolution.

As Dominique points out, intolerance and persecution of vodou believers had been occurring throughout the 20th century, most notably during the 1940s, when the Catholic Church undertook a massive “antisuperstition campaign” in which vodou temples were destroyed and adherents were forced to renounce their religion.

This kind of hidebound intolerance persists among US evangelicals to this day, illustrated most famously when Pat Robertson blamed the 2010 earthquake on Haitians having made a “pact with the devil” to secure their freedom from France.

“Tribute to a Free Man”: Homage to Jean Dominique, July 31, 2000

Download: Tribute to a Free Man (1), Tribute to a Free Man (2)

July 31 2000, for what would have been Jean Dominique’s 70th birthday, several musicians, singers, writers, poets, vodou practitioners, and friends came together to do a public tribute to the slain journalist.  Featuring Sosyete Gran Dra (vodou song), Emmelie Prophète (text), James Germain (song), Barbara Guillaume (song), So Kute (song), Boulout Valcourt (song), Faubert Bolivar (poem by René Philoctète), Samba Zao (Tintin Djo), Patricia Préval (song), and Beethova Obas (song).

Interview with Rose-Marie Desruisseau, 22 December 1972

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Interview with Rose-Marie Desruisseau, 22 December 1972

Renowned painter Rose-Marie Desruisseau, discusses the experience and meaning of painting, especially the role of vodou symbolism, dreamlike imagery, and sexuality in her paintings.  Interview Jean Dominique.

“I started first with the gods of death, you see, but I did not find death there.  I found intense life, I found eroticism there, among the Gede spirits.  I did not find death at all.” – Rose-Marie Desruisseau

Face à l’Opinion: Jean-Marie Drot on André Malraux in Haiti, 4 Dec. 1996

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Face à l’Opinion: Jean-Marie Drot sou André Malraux an Ayiti, 4 desanm 1996 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Jean-Marie Drot sou André Malraux an Ayiti, 4 desanm 1996 (2)

DESCRIPTION

In 1975, one year before his death, former French Minister of Culture André Malraux visited the artists of Haiti and decided, at the last moment, to insert a full chapter on the Saint Soleil movement in his book l’Intemporel. French filmmaker and writer Jean Marie Drot produced a series of films on Malraux, including Le dernier voyage d’André Malraux en Haïti ou la découverte de l’art vaudou (The last voyage of Andre Malraux in Haiti or the Discovery of Vodou Art). In this interview, Drot discusses the role of magic and of the clandestine in the Haitian imaginary, the meaning of “naïve” or “primitive” art amid academicism and the artistic establishment, and the relationship between art, culture, politics and commercialization in general. Interview Jean Dominique.

“The role of these painters was to cast flowers upon the wounds, upon the misery, upon despair itself.”

Jean-Marie Drot

 http://www.institut-national-audiovisuel.fr/sites/ina/medias/upload/actualite/evenements/programmation_dernier-voyage-andre-malraux-haiti.pdf

Homage to Carl Brouard by Roger Gaillard, 4 Nov. 1965

DownloadOmaj a Carl Brouard, pa Roger Gaillard, 4 novanm 1965

DESCRIPTION

Historian and writer Roger Gaillard traces the career of poet Carl Brouard, on the occasion of Brouard’s death. Gaillard identifies four major stages in Brouard’s career. He begins with the early “intimiste” stage of Brouard’s writing, and continues to the “indigéniste” stage, which began in 1927 with the founding of the Revue Indigéniste by Brouard, Émile Roumer, and Jacques Roumain. During this period, Brouard wrote about women – working women, dark-skinned women, women who came from the masses, rather than the upper class. He wrote of Africa, and the idea of Africa, with the intent of scandalizing the Haitian bourgeoisie. Gaillard refers to Brouard’s language during this time as “a swig of rum that burns your throat, that heats up your head, a swig of rum that ultimately does you good.” Gaillard then moves on to the third period, which he terms the “Griots” period. During this period, in the 1930s, Brouard wrote about Africa – not an idealized Africa, but an Africa devastated by colonialism. Gaillard then discusses the fourth and final period of Brouard’s life and career, from 1940 to his death more than twenty years later. Gaillard does not yet know what to call this period, so he will just call it “early senility” (senilité précoce). Brouard wrote little in this period, and renounced his own previous work. Gaillard concludes with some admiration and much regret, speaking of “the secret of a life, the meaning of a life, the failure of a life.”

“To speak of the language of Carl: it is a shot of rum that burns the throat, heats up the head, and finally, it is a shot of rum that does you good.”

Celebration of Carl Brouard: A Gathering of Writers and Poets, 15 Nov. 1962

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Selebrasyon Carl Brouard: Rasanbleman Ekriven ak Powèt, 15 novanm 1962

DESCRIPTION

To celebrate the sixtieth birthday of Carl Brouard, writers Jean Fouchard, René Philoctète, and Anthony Phelps went to Brouard’s house in Turgeau to chat about his work and his inspiration, and to hear Brouard recite some of his own poems.

Foula on Mizik Rasin, 28 Dec. 1986

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Foula sou Mizik Rasin, 28 desanm 1986

DESCRIPTION

The members of Foula, a well-known mizik rasin/vodou jazz group of the 1980s and 1990s, discuss their work and inspiration. Also features several performances. Chico Boyer (bass/voice), Tido Lavaud (guitar/lead voice), Jean-Raymond Giglio and Bonga Jean-Baptiste (drums), Thurgot Theodat (saxophone and percussion). Interview Konpè Filo.

Interview with Michel Lamartinière Honorat, 10 Dec. 1971

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Entèvyou ak Michel Lamartinière Honorat, 10 desanm 1971

DESCRIPTION

Michel Lamartinière Honorat — intellectual and Minister of Public Works under Duvalier — speaks about the legacy of Jean Price-Mars and his conceptions of haïtianité, Haitian culture and civilization, racial and cultural mixing (métissage), and collective Bovarism as it relates to European culture and identity. Interview Jean Dominique.

Jean Price Mars Interview, January 1969

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Entèvyou Jean Price Mars, 1969

DESCRIPTION

This is a short but unique interview with Jean Price Mars a few weeks before his death in March 1969.  This renowned Haitian intellectual, writer, ethnographer, and diplomat Jean Price Mars, considered one of the founders of the négritude movement, discusses his intellectual trajectory and inspiration, especially around racial theory, Haitian peasant life and customs, and his efforts to study and represent Haitian vodou as a complex and valid religion (contrary to the Catholic church and social and intellectual practice at the time).  Interview Jean Dominique.