jeudi 14 juillet 2011
Out and about
Les Mots Vulnerables was the title chosen for the event held at the French Insitute as part of La Quinzaine du Livre on Friday, June 24th. A theater group presented a short sketch and several authors (Edwidge Danticat, Kettly Mars, Verly Dabel, Lyonel Trouillot, and Georges Castera, among others) read excerpts of their published works and other short texts. The crowd seemed to especially appreciate Dabel's take on Haiti's post-earthquake situation, including his critique of the international community and various NGO's. Live music was provided by Belo, BIC with Queen B and K.Libr' of Mystik 703. Belo's performance was a bit more timid than usual, but the other artists really got the crowd going. K'Libr' performed both the French and Creole versions of his Kestion a Dieu. You can check it out here, it's definitely worth it. (He came back later to demonstrate his talents as a reader with an excerpt from Jean-Euphele Milce's latest novel.) BIC and Queen B continued with Yon Ti Kalkil and 1+1=1 from his latest album, Kreyòl chante Kreyòl Konprann. It was clear that most of the audience knew the words to all of these songs, which point to interesting developments in the Rap Kreyòl movement.
Finally, this past Saturday, July 9th, again at the French Institute, Wooly St. Louis Jean was in concert to announce the release of his second album entitled Se ou menm fanm later this month. I did miss Tamara Suffren, who usually accompanies Wooly, and is a great complement to his voice, but she is currently in Belgium perfecting her craft. Wooly started off with a couple of songs from his first album, Quand la parole se fait chanson. He's known for putting Haitian poems to music and several of the poets who wrote what have since become lyrics to his songs were actually in attendance. Among them: Georges Castera, James Noël, and Lyonel Trouillot. There was a brief interlude during which Mark Mulholland performed a couple of numbers. It seemed a bit odd since his presence was unexpected and he definitely wasn't singing Haitian folk songs. There was a definite shift in mood when he was on stage, but the crowd was patient, understanding that Wooly probably needed a break. It was definitely an enjoyable evening, with Wooly taking many requests from the audience, including several songs by Manno Charlemagne and of course, Hasta Siempre, a crowd favorite. It was a very laid-back, casual atmosphere. A few people read poems, but I'm trying to block that part of the evening from my mind.
Of course, all of these events are in addition to the book-related activities I've been attending lately. So, as you can see, there is a lot going on this summer as far as Haitian culture is concerned. There is no way we can report on, attend, or even let you know about everything going on. But we will try our best. So, please remember to check out our calendar from time to time.