Haitian magic shines through in this photo series featuring queer artists
July 11, 2018
‘Pwoteksyon’ (Protection in Hatian Creole) was conceptualized in the Winter of 2016 by Brooklyn based designer Jasmine Amandla Plantine. The project was formulated in response to the political climate spurred on by that fateful night in November 2016, and the affect that it had on her and members of the African diaspora. Plantine dove into her Haitian heritage, using it as an escape and a means to deal with her own mental trauma through the exploration of Haitian literature, folklore and history. She used her findings to create beaded jackets influenced by the protection offered by Haitian Lwas (Voodoo deities) found on Haitian voodoo flags.
Protection? Pwoteksyon. I’ve mulled over this idea a lot over the past couple of years in a few different contexts. How can individuals protect themselves, seek protection? How can they provide protection for themselves and their loved ones? What are the benefits of long term protection of a people, a nation, a culture? – Jasmine Amandla Plantin
‘Pwoteksyon‘ is a collaboration produced through the Gadassa workshop in Port-au-Prince, bringing queer artists together to take the completed beaded jackets and create imagery for the project. With Berlin-based Dominican photographer Luis Alberto Rodriguez behind the camera and Jesse Lackowitz behind the creative production, this collective managed to produce distinct and detailed imagery that allowed the collective to discuss the tension between the two sides of the island of Hispaniola – tension borne from the legacy of colonization.
Queer dance troupe Gran Lakou and Kabik’s resident surf team, Surf Haiti collaborated with Plantin, Rodriguez, Lackowitz and Gadassa to recreate surreal imagery of the Haiti captured by renowned Haitian writers like Edwidge Danticat, Rene Depestre and Jacques Roumain. “Pwoteksyon was created for the purpose of connecting and collaborating with artists of Haitian and Caribbean descent. Ultimately it is meant to serve as a blueprint for the Diaspora in NYC and elsewhere – to connect to our roots and to each other.” says Plantin.
The project is in memory of her great uncle Jacques Dessalines Ambroise.