The off-season is a time to reconnect with Miami's homegrown creative talents. Among the many colorful communities that make up South Florida's diverse cultural landscape, Haitian art is often overlooked. This weekend the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is hosting the fourth phase of their Meta series, located at the ARC (Arts & Recreation Center) looking to celebrate the island nation's contributions to the local art scene. The event caps off May as Miami-Dade County's Haitian Awareness Month– incorporating film and visual arts into a one-day bash.
"The Haitian community is a very vital and integral part of Opa-locka," says Meta curator Ludlow Bailey. "The works speak volumes about the transformative power of Haitian visual culture and about the relentless resilience of the Haitian people."
Despite the crushing effects of the 2010 earthquake, international debt, and government corruption, the Haitian people continue to live, work, and create in their native home and abroad. This unparalleled sense of vitality was responsible Haiti's slave rebellion that toppled French colonial rule in 1804. Meta 4, will celebrate that history with a screening of Dudley Alexis' documentary, Liberty In A Soup. The film explores the roots of the revolution itself, as well as the story behind Joumou soup, the dish traditionally served during Haitian independence day.
The full-length documentary will be shown alongside Papa Machete, a short film produced by Jason Fitzroy Jeffers. After success at various film festivals like Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival, Jeffers is eager to bring his work to Opa-locka.
"We want to use this opportunity as a means through which to open the door for more Black cinema, particularly focused on life in the tropics," Jeffers says.
Apart from the films, Meta 4 will also feature 15 original paintings from artists, Asser Saint-Val, Guy Syllien, James Brutus and Nzingah Oniwosan. Each of the paintings reflect creative sensibilities of Haitian artist working in a modern-day diaspora. '
"There are signs of strength within the community, signs that reflect within my work, a continual strength to last and over come adversity." said Brutus of living and working in Opa-locka. The cities attention to art centered works constitutes an attempt to enrich a community through art made by those who inhabit it.
If you're interested in celebrating, then join the OLCDC at Meta 4 this Sunday, May 31st from 1-4pm at the ARC building located on Ali Baba Avenue. The event is free and open to all, but please RSVP beforehand here.