Jouvay Ayiti … is REAL Jouvay! Jouvay Ayiti is a Mas-Camp-us; a programme in creative education that privileges (traditional) mas/querade and mas camp processes as preferred methodologies in arts and popular education.
Jouvay Ayiti is a Mas-Camp-us; a programme in creative education that privileges (traditional) mas/querade and mas camp processes as preferred methodologies in arts and popular education. We use mas as the basis for exploring and stimulating creativity, and for raising consciousness on matters of concern to Caribbean development, during and after Jouvay.
Jouvay Ayiti was birthed after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti of 2010. As artists and educators, we came together with the aim of using mas – the lingua franca of the Caribbean – as a creative intervention geared towards shifting consciousness about Haiti; a critical component to the rebuilding. To this end, we created ‘Haiti: Mudder of Civilization’, our very first Jouvay band, in 2011, which challenged its masqueraders to dream up as mas what we could learn from Haiti, what is beautiful in Haiti. Using found, discarded, and donated materials, the mas was designed by the masqueraders, with guidance from our resident mas-artists. In Jouvay Ayiti, you don’t pay for a costume, you contribute to the process.
We have kept this method, producing annually, Jouvay Mas that has addressed among other topics, Caribbean independence, Caribbean politics, and more recently Reparations. Outside of the Carnival season we create Mas-Action, which is the use of mas after Jouvay as a strategy in social action. With Mas-Action, we have focused primarily on Haiti-Dominican Republic de-nationalization issue, and the atrocities therein, which has been fairly successful in situating this matter in the public domain, stirring up both interest and action.
Administratively, we are today a registered non-profit arts organization, continuously fine-tuning these mas-camp ways into our programming. As such we produce:
- Masters of the Mas – public talks with leading elder mas practitioners, our window to truly understanding mas and ourselves;
- Jouvay Mas-Camp-us – our annual programme, which culminates in our participation in Jouvay. Participants come to the mas-camp-us to participate in our mas making workshops and create mas for the road.
- Emancipation Mas-Camp-us – we’ve returned to source by situating our work inside Emancipation. Here, participants enroll in a more intensive programme in mas-crafts training that is curated in performance on the road on Emancipation Day.
Philosophically, we are an invocation; continuously striving to liberate Caribbean self-conscious, all in the name of Ayiti.
- Workshops in traditional mas-crafts
- Mas design and construction
- Research and documentation on Caribbean Mas traditions
- Teaching: workshops, lectures, seminars in Caribbean Mas history, development, performance, and theory
- Artists exchange, and artist residency programmes
- Commissioned traditional mas performances for special functions and public events
- Emancipation Mas 2016 – July 11th to August 13th
July 11th to 31st – workshops in cardboard-sculpting, wire-bending and papier-mache, culminating in procession on the road for Emancipation.
- July 3rd to July 13th – workshops in papier-mache with artist in residence, Haitian master mas-artist, Didier Civil.