Spotlight on FotoKonbit
To celebrate the release of Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, edited by Edwidge Danticat, Akashic will be spotlighting Haitian organizations on our website. Today, we’re pleased to feature FotoKonbit, a nonprofit organization to which a portion of the profits from Haiti Noir 2 will be donated. We invited FotoKonbit to tell us about their work and to share some of the photography produced by their students. From Executive Director Marie Arago:
FotoKonbit was founded in 2010 by a group of Haitian (and one American) photographers, artists, and educators. We have worked with over one hundred students from nine different communities and we are currently working in five communities: a group of adults in the southern agricultural town of Camp-Perrin; adults in the fishing village of Labadie; children in the cities of Jacmel and Cap-Haïtien; and we teach a weekly photography class at the Zoranje school just outside of Port-au-Prince.
Each group we work with is different. The group of adults in Camp-Perrin started a photography club that we were able to get some digital cameras donated to. The members of the photography club can check out the cameras to use for artistic or commercial purposes. Last year were able to bring one of the members of this group (who had never left Haiti) to the Dominican Republic, and photographs of his experience were exhibited in Santo Domingo.
At the Zoranje school we have a weekly photography class with youth between the ages of twelve and sixteen. The students are taught to express themselves visually and encouraged to document their ever-changing community. The area surrounding the Zoranje school (as well as the Zoranje school) is a relatively new and quickly developing community. The current and future photography students at Zoranje will be photographing the development and changes in their community over time.
In 2011 we began working with a group of ten men and women from the fishing village of Labadie, which is very close to Haiti’s only cruise port, in the north of Haiti. The participants of this group have been documenting their lives, community, and some surrounding historical locations, and are now able to sell the images they have produced as gift cards to tourists at the Labadie resort.
We also work with groups of children in the cities of Jacmel and Cap-Haïtien. With both of these groups the children have photographed historic sites and architecture, learned about the history of their towns, and documented their communities.
FotoKonbit has had exhibitions in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Suresnes, Miami, New Jersey, and Houston and we have a permanent exhibition wall at the Port-au-Prince airport.
Join Edwidge Danticat and select Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2 contributors at two upcoming events: January 16th, 2014 at the Brooklyn Public Library (7pm; cosponsored by the Haiti Cultural Exchange and MoCADA), and January 29, 2014, at Books & Books Coral Gables, Florida (8pm; cosponsored by the Little Haiti Cultural Center and the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance.)
Posted: Jan 14, 2014
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