Forward Post byAlpha Bruton

February 6, 2010

Haiti: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains

El Barrio (East Harlem, NY)

Proposal Deadline: Monday, February 15, 2010

Art for Change (AfC) is seeking proposals for artworks for its upcoming exhibition, Haiti: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains, at the AfC gallery Friday, March 5, 2010 – Saturday, April 10, 2010, concurrent with a fundraiser for Haiti, film screenings, lectures, and workshops on Haitian culture and civic participation. AfC is an organization that creates innovative art and media programs that inspire people to take an active role in social justice. By merging art and community, AfC provides a space to explore social issues and celebrate the richness of cultural diversity.

Haiti: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains refers to a Haitian proverb using mountains as a metaphor for continued obstacles and challenges the country has faced. Political and social earthquakes of no small scale have foreshadowed natural earthquakes and hurricanes. Yet, as the first country to achieve independence from colonial rule, mountains serve not only a metaphor for obstacles, but also resistance of the Haitian people evidenced through an ever-present narrative of willful dissent and insurgency. Haiti: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains seeks to illuminate the common thread of strength in civil resistance throughout Haiti’s history via mechanisms ranging from civil disobedience to popular uprisings.

The exhibition will explore the political, economic, and social landscape in Haiti prior to the recent catastrophic earthquake, and examine how this topography has played out in the aftermath of a crisis. Haiti’s civil resistance has consistently been paralleled with imperialism of many forms, political and economic exploitation, and individual greed coupled with extensive poverty, yielding varying faces of destruction. The earthquake itself could be seen as a metaphor for eruption of undersurface tensions along both sides of the fault line either between Haitians and outside interventionalists, or between Haitian elite and Haitian moun en deyo (“marginalized and excluded”). Haiti: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains asks us to further question what the post-earthquake political, economic, and social landscapes of Haiti will look like, both concretely and metaphorically. If the Presidential Palace, state buildings, and elite mansions symbolized an old aesthetic of sauve-que-peut, or “survival of the fittest” politics, will their destruction inspire a new aesthetic of social equity, inured by heightened sympathy amid the recent tragedy? Do the mountains beyond not merely represent unending obstacles, but rather souls of Haiti rising, nurturing new opportunities for the peasantry alienated from state power until now? Will the political and social topography constitute a more “level” playing field?

Interested artists may submit proposals for artworks consistent with the social justice platform of AfC, which address topics on Haiti suggested, but not limited to, the description above. Artworks may include, but are not limited to, painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture, performance art, interactive art, design, architecture, and site-specific installation. Proposals must be one page in length, including a detailed description of the artwork and its relevance to the exhibition theme. Artists are encouraged to do further reading on current affairs in Haiti to inspire poignant ideas.


Artist's Full Name(s) and/or Alias

Artist's Bio

Statement of Intent (1-2 paragraphs)

Dimensions of Piece

2-5 examples of past work (CD or DVD)

Proposals will not be returned.


Art for Change
Haiti Exhibition
1699 Lexington Avenue, Basement North
New York, NY 10029
OR EMAIL YOUR PROPOSAL TO: Please put “ART FOR CHANGE: HAITI EXHIBITION” in the subject heading. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Alyssa Fridgen at: 347-804-8336.

Proposals must be received via mail or email by Monday, February 15, 2010, to be eligible for consideration. Artists will be notified on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 if their proposal is accepted, and participating artists will be required to deliver their artworks to the gallery by Wednesday, March 3, 2010. We are looking forward to reviewing your proposals!