Kanaval by Leah Gordon
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Format: Hardcover, clothbound
Edition: Second (with additional material)
Artist, curator and writer Leah Gordon has been photographing and recording oral histories of Madigra participants in the Haitian port town of Jacmel since 1995.
Leagues away from the sequinned, sanitised, corporate-sponsored carnivals found elsewhere in the Americas, the Madigra troupes in Jacmel enact and subvert myth, legends and the nation’s own histories, their improvisational costumes and surreal narratives a Vodou-charged blend of folk memory, political satire and personal revelation.
Originally published in 2010, this new expanded edition published by Here Press incorporates many previously unseen photographs alongside oral histories, and new and revised essays by Myron M. Beasley, Madison Smartt Bell, Andre Eugene & Jean-C.
Leah Gordon explores the intervolved and intersectional histories of the Caribbean plantation system, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Enclosure Acts and the creation of the British working-class. Her film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Dak’art Biennale and the National Portrait Gallery, UK. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; was the co-curator of ‘Kafou: Haiti, History & Art’ at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; and was co-curator of 'PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince' at Pioneer Works, NYC in 2018 and MOCA, Miami in 2019. In 2022 she will be exhibiting and curating at documenta fifteen, Kassel, and is directing a feature-length documentary on Jacmel Carnival for BBC’s Arena.