This past Tuesday I found myself standing in front of a packed house in Prospect Heights at Kombit, a Haitian bar and restaurant. I was introducing myself and the project I had started about a year ago out of frustration on creatives of Haitian descent. I was gesturing way too much and somehow my nice dress shirt got very wrinkled sometime during the night. But I spoke the turned on the ipad and began playing the videos which included this:
As we watched, I listened for reactions and scanned the faces of the crowd periodically to see their reactions. Mel and Smax’s segment got a lot of laughs, Chuck’s I was more focused on how Negus Korby’s music dominated his video a bit too much, and DJ Hard Hittin Harry’s Segment looked the best to me visually on that projected screen.
The last video ended and I got up to applause, which is still something I’m not used to, and answered whatever questions people had an tried my best to make sure that my three creatives got a chance to promote what they are currently working on. And as I thanked everyone for coming and made my final remarks, I thought what next with this project that has become something bigger than expected it to be. And others asked what’s next and even proposed ways they could help me figure out financial avenues to take it to a bigger place.
I’m always thinking about what’s next, but for now I’m contacting my next Haitian Creative, whoever that may be.
Most of my time was spent volunteering #ActivistRow at the festival with Progressive Pupil, but found some time to capture some of the environment. I wish I had shot more. More photos here: Afropunk 2014 was originally published on The Photography and Video Blog of Richard Louissaint