I’ve blogged on my author blog about the situation concerning the expulsion of Haitian residents in the Dominican Republic. I decided to post this email from Jouvay Ayiti here on the Wadadli Pen Blog where in addition to spotlighting the Wadadli Pen programme and the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, I’ve made a habit of sharing artistic activities and action, particularly where young people are involved. This particular action concerns the use of the arts by young Caribbeans in response to/protest against the treatment of the Haitians by the Dominican government. Here’s the message in full:
On Emancipation Day, August 1st 2015, Jouvay Ayiti took to the streets of Port of Spain in Mas Action (the conscious use of traditional mas/querade in social action and consciousness-raising) to dance our disapproval at the Dominican Republic’s ongoing mistreatment of Dominicans of Haitian heritage. This action continues our previous Mas Action stagings on July 3rd 2015, and November 6th 2013 when this current crisis first reared its ugly head.
•give voice to issues that affect regional freedom, and development;
•pay especial attention to Haiti who we recognise as central to Caribbean selfhood; and
•in light of the above, amplify the current goings on in the DR – by situating in the streets, the public domain – this outrage, which as a region we not have adequately ventilated.
Moreover, through a collaboration with our sister collective in Canada, we have also successfully supported a Toronto Mas Action on the same day (August 1st 2015), which was presented at the opening of CARIBANA festival’s street procession. As a complementary action we have commenced a ‘people’s embargo’ (at both sites) in which we have invited all our participants and the wider public to boycott all products and services from the Dominican Republic. Participants in our mas, like our audiences, have been encouraged to identify DR products, and have been working assiduously at compiling a more comprehensive list, which we will publish soon.
… is REAL Jouvay!
T: http://www.twitter.com/jouvayayiti (@jouvayayiti)