New York, N.Y. The Haitian Cultural Foundation (HCF) has just released its nine-minute trailer for its upcoming film Dans l’oeil de la Spirale — In the Eye of the Spiral. If the film is only half as brilliant as the trailer, Haitian art will finally find its seat at the international table of culture where it belongs. Knowing both many of the artists interviewed as well as the good people of the HCF, including its director Raynald Leconte, I am particularly excited waiting for the film’s release.
This important documentary will feature seven of Haiti’s most prominent living artists. Taking as its point of departure the notion of dynamic chaos incarnated by the incomparable writer-painter-philosopher Frankétienne, whom I have written about often, this film proposes a new narrative for the embattled Haitian Republic — a narrative steeped in the vitality, the mysticism and, ultimately, the hopefulness of artistic creation.
I had the opportunity to sit next to renowned Haitian artist Mario Benjamin en route to Port-au-Prince several years ago as he returned from the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea. Mario was deeply critical of the international development community’s presence in his country, even before the earthquake, and I agreed with him. When I got home I wrote one of my favorite pieces, Can We Change Perceptions? “The Obscenity of NGOs.”
It is our aim with In the Eye of the Spiral to sustain and nourish this vision by providing a platform — by circulating Haiti’s contemporary artistic perspectives into the wider world. To realize this objective, we must now build on the momentum we have already generated by garnering additional funding for the editing of the more than thirty hours of footage filmed during our most recent trip to Port-au-Prince.
It is wonderful to connect with these artists, who have so much to offer the world. With dignity, profundity and clear sighted visionary power and wisdom, they uphold the cultural/ spiritual identity of an incredible country that has been ravaged by exploitation, poverty, corruption, violence and catastrophe… consistently and in every sense. Nature just dealt the most brutal stroke after mankind did their worst… in my limited view. I’d be very happy to lend my voice in terms of support for what you’re doing…
Art critic and friend Rachel Nadjarian said:
Beautifully done documentary! I realize it is only a snippet of the full picture but am curious how it will emerge into an hour-long piece. Will there be others interviewed beside the artists or historical timelines included? The artist’s words are so poetic and thought-provoking. What a spiritual and deeply intelligent people, and one I suspect more misunderstood and misinterpreted than not. While the path you are paving is a long one that takes time and reiteration, each of these steps helps drive thinking and consciousness in the right direction.
HCF is the type of organization supported by our foundation: It is an all-volunteer organization that pays no salaries. The Haitian Cultural Foundation offers high return on investment! Its core team includes an international team of professional multicultural art lovers refer to HCF Raynald Leconte, Eve Blouin, Kaiama Glover, Robert Beevers, Isabel Hegner and Board Member emeritus Blu Putnam.
The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) is the umbrella organization under which The International University Center Haiti (Uni Haiti) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) are organized. If supporting young global leadership is important to you, subscribe to J. Luce Foundation updates here.
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