The People of the Loa: Creative exploration of Haitian Vodou
Throughout this project I am re-discovering, and battling the popularized narratives created in regard to the practice of Haitian Vodou. The African-Atlantic experiences become evident within the base of this practice, from the Loa to the symbology rendered through Vèvè', remnants of Dahomean, Kongo, Yoruba, and many other West African cultures, both living, and reborn, breathe, and influence these spiritual practices found a world away from their pre-colonial counterparts.
I am approaching this project without the fear I have grown up with, and without the uninformed, preconceived notions pushed forward by racist, anti-Black, and xenophobic institutions. I don’t seek to be ethnographic. I want to portray, and convey my interpretations and understanding as it is happening, and as it changes, and evolves.
I will produce various discreet works, telling a singular story about my practice, and the culture of Haitian Vodou that will, for the purpose of this project, carry it.The viewer is meant to enter the domain of the subjects.
My goal is to put emphasis on how the body or thing is experienced rather than how it is aesthetically perceived.
Vèvès personally constructed in honor of my own spiritual practice. I made each one considering the cultures that birthed the symbology of traditional Vèvè making, the Fon of Benin, as well as Igbo, and Kongo tradition to name a few. I have taken this knowledge and I have constructed what I refer to as Vèvè Zansèt, Zansèt meaning "Ancestor" in Haitian Kreyòl, These are Vèvès for specific ancestors of mine.
Through this adaptive practice I seek to dive even deeper into ritual by way of the content of my spiritual practice, and elements of Ancestral worship that is also found in the Haitian Vodou practice.