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Weekly Rec: Flipping the Script on Haitian Culture

“Noah’s Ark” is part of a collection called “Voodoo Child” by the artist Vladimir Cybil Charlier, who will take part in Nyack Library’s celebration of Haitian heritage month on Saturday, Mary 14. (Photo from Valdimir Cybil Charlier’s website)

Rockland County boasts one of the most populous and vibrant Haitian communities in the entire United States.

To honor and showcase this rich culture (and recognize Haitian Heritage Month), Nyack Library is hosting a celebration called Ayiti featuring poetry, art, dance and drumming on Saturday, May 14, at 2 pm.

The event is free and open to the public, but the library is asking attendees to register beforehand. To register, please visit nyacklibrary.org or call 845-358-3370 ext. 214. 

Organized by local author Daniel Wolff, the Saturday afternoon lineup includes poetry by Daniel and Denize Lauture, a presentation by visual artist Vladimir Cybil Charlier, drumming by Eric Alcin and Steve White, and dancing by Daphnee Nicolas and Sasha Miceus. 

The library says it wants to promote an alternative narrative about Haitian culture to combat the dire story about Haiti’s recent political and environmental struggles that often dominates American media’s portrait of the country. 

“The Haitian community is a vital and vibrant part of life here in Rockland County,” a press release for the celebration says. “Too often, the media neglects to promote a complete picture of the Haitian people and their unique culture, instead focusing on corruption and tragedies.”

Here’s video from the virtual Haitian Heritage Month celebration from June 2020 featuring some of the same performers you will see on Saturday:

Here’s Denize Lauture performing his poetry at Lehman College in 2011: 

For more local events, go to Visit Nyack.

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