While Haitian art over recent years has gained great recognition within the art sphere, Haiti as a place has yet to become the local haunt frequented by the darlings of the art world. The solution: a fiercely named Ghetto Biennale, a cross-cultural arts festival held in the capital Port-au-Prince, founded by artist group Atis Rezistans and curator Leah Gordon. In the past, Haitian artists such as Andre Eugène, have been denied access to their own private views here in America due to visa refusal —they don’t reap the same luxuries of mobility and involvement as other artists. In response to this, Gordon recognized the intense need to bring international artists, critics and curators to Haiti, encouraging a new dialogue and creating an international network from their very own soil.
From 2009 through 2015, the Ghetto Biennale has served as a beacon, connecting people from diverse genders, races, sexualities, classes and nationalities. The December 2015 edition of the festival explored various forms of resistance, focusing on Kreyòl, Vodou and the Lakou. Each year the works are exhibited for only four days, then quickly dismantled and re-appropriated.
Exposure of this unique project now needs to be increased. They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create a multi-authored catalogue, which will document the first four editions of the biennale we’ve missed. The production of a catalogue will act as a crucial exploration of transculturalism and capture the ephemeral nature of the biennale, lest it be lost forever. It will both celebrate and critically evaluate this inspiring event. Backed by Art Basel Crowdfunding, the Ghetto Biennale has petitioned to raise $39,270 (£25,850). With 11 days to go, they’re halfway there but need your help. Ignite your New Year with a resolution you can keep—back the Ghetto Biennale!
$46 Pledge (£30):
Limited edition, high-quality silkscreen sheet of 25 vinyl stickers with Tom Bogaert’s altered ‘Prestige’ beer labels made for the 3rd Ghetto Biennale. Your name included in the list of funders in the catalogue.
$152 Pledge (£100):
A unique tyre cut from the Atis Rezistans ateliers and your name included in the list of funders in the catalogue.
$532 Pledge (£350):
A limited edition print (which has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London) by Ghetto Biennale participant Laura Heyman, of Stephany from the Grand Rue neighbourhood from the Pa Bouje Anko series. A signed copy of the Ghetto Biennale catalogue with your name included in the list of major funders.