Nou Pap Bliye Ayiti
In honor of Caribbean Heritage Month, New Women Space, a HaitianAmerican owned event space located in Brooklyn, NY, in collaboration with the WaWaWa Diaspora Centre is pleased to announce NOU PAP BLIYE AYITI (We Won’t Forget Haiti), a live storytelling and coloring book experience created by Régine Romain – a Haitian-American artist, educator and visual anthropologist.
This event is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 2 to 4 pm. Tickets are available via Eventbrite for $40 which includes the price of the coloring book and a complimentary glass of wine for adults 21+. Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nou-pap-bliye-ayiti-haiti-tickets-349028021207
Michelle Alerte, says “New Women Space (NWS) started in 2016 as a 30-day pop-up founded on the need to create safe spaces for marginalized communities.” As the new owner, Alerte, is determined to uphold and push the values and mission of the space even further. She says, “NWS is centered and available for rent to women, the queer community and our allies.” We offer everything from classes and coworking to hosting events from comedy shows, gallery exhibitions and live storytelling events like NOU PAP BLIYE AYITI.
Alerte loves building community and states “I am a proud Haitian-American New York native, grateful to own an event space that can support bringing like-minded people together. We offer NWS as a safe and vibrant space to create belonging and foster connection.”
The NOU PAP BLIYE AYITI experience at New Women Space embraces the active healing spiral of (re)membering, recognition and recovery. During the live event enjoy storytelling that pulls from the dynamic images found in Régine Romain’s coloring book.
“Nou Pap Bliye” features illustrated images of Haiti captured by Romain three weeks after the catastrophic 7.0 Mw earthquake that occurred in Haiti on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Rather than continue to emphasize the images of catastrophic loss and devastation inundating international media following the tragedy, Romain’s photographs emphasize the elements of faith, dignity, honor and respect that allowed Haitian communities to survive and move forward.
Romain says, “Nou Pap Bliye” highlights what it means to affirm, value and sustain the worldview of those who have been historically misrepresented and underrepresented like the people of Haiti.” Included in the book is an original poem Romain wrote while in Haiti post-earthquake. In her efforts to reach a broad audience with this empowering message of Haiti, Romain had the poem translated into multiple languages which include Haitian Kreyòl, English, Twi (Ghana), Spanish, Ibo (Nigeria) and French.
“This book is a visionary invitation to remember and reconstruct our rich heritage as we add color to the contours and textures of the people and places that continue to thrive in the wake of persistent struggle” writes Deirdre Hollman, EdM – Educator and Founder of the Black Comics Collective, and author of the book’s forward. She continues, “crafted with pride and dignity, “Nou Pap Bliye,”is the culturally affirming coloring book we all need and deserve. Perfect for children and adults, the whole family can indulge in the colors of the African diaspora.”
The culturally affirming images Hollman speaks of were illustrated by Tiffani Gomez. Gomez, an interdisciplinary Haitian-Dominican visual artist based in Washington, D.C., who was thrilled to work on this project, especially during the COVID19 pandemic quarantine. Gomez notes “This book project allowed me to dive deeper into my culture and artistry. As a child I never had a coloring book about Haiti or Haitian people…but now we all do – which is so cool. Representation matters.”
New Women Space, in collaboration with the WaWaWa Diaspora Centre and Régine Romain invites ALL AGES to come ready and able to color in love and hope for Haiti.
10% of proceeds from this event will go to Assosyason Peyizan Anba Mon (APAM) a grassroots organization grounded with community development and farming initiatives in Jacmel, the south-eastern part of Haiti.