Ayiti Solidarity: LEKOL

ACD Media Presents….

Lekol (School in Ayisen)

Lekol is an event geared at educating people about why Haiti and Her People deserve the dignity and respect that has been so lacking in the aid and services by international organizations since the catastrophe of January 12th, 2010. Before one even considers boarding a plane to help the people of Haiti, they should know about the true history and culture of Her People, in order to contribute a hand in creating real, lasting self-determination moving forward.

We will gather to hold a space for dialogue, to begin to actively decolonize the history of Haiti as we know it, look at Haiti’s contributions to people’s struggles around the globe and follow some of the action that is promising for the future. Including: guest speakers, a photo and audio exhibition, a silent auction, a short screening, food, music and tabling by ally organizations.

WHERE: Yippie Cafe & Museum
9 Bleecker Street between Lafayette and Bowery in Manhattan

WHEN: Saturday, December 17th, 2011 5PM-9:30PM & 10PM-3AM

5PM-9:30PM (upstairs) Exhibit-Dialogue-Artist Performances

10PM-3AM (lower level) After Party – A celebration of Haiti’s contributions to universal human rights. It will Feature live DJs. *See the end of this correspondence

F train to Broadway/Lafayette or the 6 train to Bleecker Street

FOR MORE INFORMATION: call Vanissa (917) 995-6495 or email: ojamusic@ymail.com with Lekol in the subject line

Cost: $10 at the door. All proceeds will go to helping two young men from the Delmas 75 area of Port-au-Prince return to school and to the documentation of the building of an Earthship in Haiti!

Photos & Audio exhibit by ACD Media’s Vanissa Chan, Ludger Balan & Oja Vincent

Presentation of the Ayiti Historical Timeline Part One (from 1492-1507) – The active & collective process of decolonizing history.

Guest Speakers Include:
Alba Mota (www.funtosaludintl.org) – speaking about her experience as a Dominican woman who recognizes her roots & the work that Funto Salud International is currently doing in our community.

Ray Laforest (The Haitian Coalition) – providing a picture of the current political situation in Haiti

Marita Mariasine (via Skype from Montreal) – speaking on The Haiti Projects, a grassroots sustainable life movement happening now, and the plan of action in the near future with that movement.

Lahiny Pierre (www.lahinypierre.com) author of the new book, “General Author” with words about the organizing that she has been doing on people’s behalf in Haiti.

Itkibuel (Son of Iukibo) aka Luis Ramos (Taino Nation)- opening the space with a ritual to pay homage and providing information about how Tainos were living in 1491, in addition to explaining the work of preserving Taino culture and keeping the Nation alive and well.

Performances by:
Gabriella Callendar of Mahina Movement (poetry/folk-funk-soul-hip-hop)

Naima Penniman of Climbing Poetree (poetry, spirit & earth sound translations)

Jeff Dess (spoken word from the global source)

Alix Julien + Friends (kompas music & kenetic vibes)

Ally Organizations: Haitian Coalition, Funto Salud International, Ayiti Resurrect, Friends of the Congo, The Sikh Coalition

After Party Music Provided by:

DJ Aura

DJ Chela

DJ Negus Korby

DJ Oja

DJ Soulcraft

Artist Bios:

Ludger K Balan, Artist, Filmmaker, Environmental & Cultural Activist, is the founder and director of the NY Harbor based not for profit environmental & cultural organization The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy and the designer of the organization’s EnviroMedia Mobile- a unique mobile nature and maritime museum on wheels.  His work with this grassroot orgs span over a decade.  Before Balan fitted his dive gear in the struggle to insure a clean and healthy urban estuary for the protection of public health, and to provide our inner city youth a eco refuge in their own back yard, he worked as a filmmaker, photo journalist and photo documentarian.  His past work include the acclaimed documentary, “Manufacturing the Enemy,” which took a hard critic at the issues around the cause and effects of the US first Gulf war under father Bush. The documentary was aired on PBS, and also featured at the Whitney Biennial. During that time period, Ludger also had a unique opportunity to work as a photojournalist to cover Haiti during and after the Coup of President Aristide. The photography presented in this show is a small excerpts of work from a greater comprehensive body of work in photography and video art produced by Balan during this journey and mission to help us learn more about the people of Haiti.
See Mr Balan’s work online:

  Entre El Medio- http://vimeo.com/12227044

Manufacturing the Enemy-

The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy- http://www.youtube.com/UDECNYC
EnviroMedia Mobile-

Gabriella Callendar of Mahina Movement: Mahina Movement is the phenomenal 3 women trio who combine poetry and song to create passionate music tied to flesh and bone, straight from the heart. Mahina Movement’s extraordinary melodies tell stories of the personal and political wrapped with courage, strength and awareness of human struggle and connection. 3 voices and one guitar blend into a powerful force, mixing folk, rock and rhymes in English, Spanish, and Tongan simmered with indigenous roots and culture. Mahina Movement’s rare sound and vision not only creates a raw, fierce artistic “movement” combining traditional and contemporary poetry, music, painting, theater, and ritual but also, is constantly generating a strong, steady “movement” for community—consisting of radical love, unstoppable activism and ruthless compassion. Based and consistently building and creating in New York City, Mahina Movement not only lives in New York but also makes sure to contribute their multi-talents of creativity and organizing in a place they call home. Having deep roots from all over the world—Mexico, Ireland, Tonga and Africa—Mahina Movement consists of a Musician from Hollis, Queens; a Dancer from Texas and a Painter from Utah. Together, they have carved and crafted a world of musical and artistic possibilities, running outside of boxes and crossing borders and limits. They have combined their skills, cultures, ancestors, stories and languages to reach the masses and ignite inspiration in the face of resignation and cynicism. Mahina Movement has caused performance fires on stages with Amina and Amiri Baraka, Tony Kushner, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Hoch, Medusa, Dead Prez , Suheir Hammad, Slum Village, Sarah Jones, Willie Perdomo, La Bruja, Immortal Technique, Tamar Kali, SpiritChild, ReadNex Poetry Squad, Hasan Salaam and many, many more!

Vanissa W. Chan is a media artist and educator whose passion for the arts is fueled by her work with the People, especially the youth.  Utilizing various mediums to create dialogue and draw attention to political issues, her work’s intent is to strengthen communal bridges, assist in storytelling, and shed light upon narratives that are often buried under stress and trauma.  Currently, her main projects involve issues around police brutality, public education, and Haiti.  Organizations she is affiliated with include the Justice for Kenny Coalition, the October 22nd Coalition, and ACD Media.

DJ Chela is the DJ for the now generation, representing her music and values with urgency and passion. Since her beginnings in 2002 she has performed on four continents, branding her name in everything from radio, nightlife, mixtapes, DJ battles and live shows to healing and political activism movements.
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. Born and raised in New York City he received his B.A and M.A in English Literature from St. John’s University. MrJeffDess is the author of three books of poetry. His latest We Can See Your Privates (grew bab books, 2011) investigates the separation between the public and private lives of the community through the poetic form of the haiku. He has performed, spoken and presented across the nation at various institutions and universities. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. He currently works as a higher education professional and teaches at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University and don’t forget he will always keep it funky.
Alix Julien is a Haitian musician based in New York City.  He will be having a CD Release Party for his new album, “Rhythm in Color,” on Sunday, December 18th, 2011, at The Vault Cafe, 481C Hempstead Turnpike, in Elmont, NY, from 6:30PM-9:30PM.

DJ Negus Korby: With an eclectic style and a keen ear DJ Negus Korby is a music lover to the extreme. When he rocks a set be prepared for a little bit of everything. Hip-hop and futuristic dance music are just part of his repertoire so be on the look out for this Brooklynite who strives to keep things fresh and a little different.

Born Vaimoana Litia Makakaufaki Niumeitolu, Moana is a Poet, Painter, and Actor. She was born in Nuku’alofa, Tonga; raised in Hawa’ii and Utah; and now lives, creates and loves in NYC. She is a founding member of Mahina Movement, the phenomenal all woman trio who have performed on over 400 stages including having performed with Angela Davis, Amiri and Amina Baraka, Tony Kushner, Noam Chomsky, Sonia Sanchez, Kool Herc, Suheir Hammad, Sarah Jones, Medusa, Dead Prez and countless others. Moana is the author of a poetry, performance text, and visual art chapbook, tonga provo harlem. Moana has traveled and shared her poetry & painting all over the US and in Fiji, Tonga, Ireland, Italy, and South Africa. She has been seen acting at the Metropolitan Opera and sharing her one woman show, Tongue-in Paint, which had it’s world premiere at soloNOVA’s 5th Annual Arts Festival at Performance Space 122 in NYC. Her other production, A Prayer for Tonga, premiered at Harvard University. She graduated from New York University in painting and performance, earned the Ellen Stoekel Fellowship/fulll scholarship in painting & drawing from Yale University and attended Columbia University’s Graduate Program in Acting.
Moana gives much eternal appreciation to her parents, her familia, friends and her comunidad all over the world for supporting her, encouraging her, and listening for the gold. She loves to eat with her hands, go barefoot absolutely anywhere in the world, her harmonica named Smoothie and Boxing & Beatboxing, both with a capital “B.” She loves that she is growing older. Life has just begun.

Lahiny Pierre was born in Jacmel, South East of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. At the age of fourteen she reunited with her parents in Brooklyn and finished her academic studies. She is a graduate of the State University of New York. Ms. Pierre taught high school English in the New York City schools for six years and served as an adjunct at Stony Brook University. Her literary works include poetry, literary criticism, screen plays, and two novels, both addressing the struggle of migration, loss, and coming to terms with one’s story, which she believes, affects the present in multiple ways. She is the author of General Authority, a Haitian novel and the coffee-table photography book titled, Haiti Earthquake 1-12-2010. Publication credits include articles with Awareness Magazine, columnist with Traffic News To GO,  Haitian Times… Read more… www.lahinypierre.com
The Book:  Struggles of migration, loss, and coming to terms with one’s history affects one’s present life. When Denis decides to run from Port-au-Prince, he is not sure the fake passport will take him to New York City. For eleven years he has been the leader of the Engagés, a secret society fighting the Militia for the return of the city and a stop to the “Cut Heads Burn Homes” societal renegades. Days before Denis and his troops launch a key attack, one of their top men is assassinated. The Militia commands local thugs after Denis who must flee to save his skin. Denis bounds for the U.S. to escape death and maybe stumble into the American Dream. The problem of adapting to this dizzying new world fades as he suddenly finds himself in the middle of an interracial marital meltdown that could send him straight into the arms of his enemies back in Haiti.  This book illustrates themes of the struggle of migration, loss, and coming to terms with one’s history; exile by choice because of economic circumstances; assimilation – cause and effect; the myth of the American dream, an idea held by people worldwide; cultural alienation; socialization of the immigrant; leaving home; learning new experiences; adapting to a new life; speaking a new language; the reuniting of old friends; friendship; male bonding; spirituality; African Deities; Haitian Culture; Voodoo; facing the past; nationalism; community building; cultural awareness; music and dance in the Haitian culture; political unrest; murder; vengeance; and civic duties. This book is available on: www.lahinypierre.com

Naima Penniman is a multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional artist, activist, and educator committed to social, environmental, racial, and sexual justice, planetary health, and love expansion. Naima gained national notoriety over the past seven years as half of Climbing PoeTree, the soul sister spoken word duo who have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. She, alongside Alixa Garcia, has stirred 1000 crowds in more than 80 cities from Oakland to Atlanta, South Africa to Cuba to Havana alongside visionary leaders and artists such as Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Jean Grae, Vandana Shiva, Angela Davis, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Danny Glover, The Last Poets, and Dead Prez.
Granddaughter of a Haitian inventor, Naima is working to enact her prayer: that Haiti’s resulting resurrection outweigh the current catastrophe. In the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake she organized a grassroots collective of visionary artists, holistic healers, and community builders with bloodlines in Haiti and the African Diaspora (AYITI RESURRECT), and has been working in collaboration with local Haitian organizations to help address the psychological, spiritual and emotional healing of the survivors of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Through art, movement and music therapy, yoga and meditation, plant medicine, environmental sustainability initiatives, peer to peer counseling, and mental wellness clinics, AYITI RESURRECT is dedicated to transforming trauma through collective healing.

Dj/producer/performer SOULCRAFT(aka Murvyn Jean-Pierre) found himself in the midst of two major emerging music movements, since leaving Port Au-Prince, Haiti as a child. The rough, gang-riddled streets of South Side Chicago showed him the beginnings of House Music at the same time New York City gave the world Hip-Hop. Heavily influenced by these genres and more, he formed a bold soulful dance Djing style. As a producer he has created remixes for The Spice Girls and Moloko. As the co-creator and head Dj of A Party Called Soulove, dancefloor denizens can enjoy his selections monthly in NYC.

 Oja Vincent, also known as DJ Oja is a producer, DJ, educator and activist whose life work is to create, connect & be part of the global movement to build community through sound-based storytelling, music production, and performance while dynamically passing the tradition on to the next generation.