Our Love on Fire: Gay Men's Stories of Violence and Hope in Haiti | Mario LaMothe
Context and Methodology
What follows is a creative work that recounts the August 10, 2013 ring exchange ceremony by same-sex fiancés in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and the population’s protest against the private demonstration of queer affection. It is drawn from audio interviews with the event’s key players and guests: Josué Azor, Jean Fils, Mikey Wikenson Palemon, Christopher St. Preux, and Giovanni Verneret. Also nuancing the piece are informal conversations with twelve witnesses who choose to remain nameless. How I am inspired to forward my interviewees’ narratives in this storytelling format is to honor their most basic request: Intimate details of their lives they have shared with researchers are often footnoted and distilled as part of a larger structural account. Oftentimes, their stories are sensationalized to validate Black homophobia. In addition to having previously collaborated with them as the MSM (men who have sex with men) Program Manager for PSI-Haiti from February 2011 to May 2015, I am their friend, they reminded me. Being an oral historian, a curator and a performing artist energize my praxis. No longer a background participant of their clash with the Bourdon community, I am now a witness who must rely on a mode of transmission that champions the embodied and critical qualities of their retaliation against homophobia and transphobia. The script’s organization refers back to that promise as well as my kinship bonds to the community, detailed below.
In 2011, when I inaugurated Haiti’s first-ever information, education and communication program tailored to same-sex loving Haitians’ needs, I was tasked to establish a nationwide peer education program that disseminated information about HIV/AIDS prevention, and sexual and mental health services. Several of my interviewees were community leaders in the program. On August 10, 2013, a little before midnight, I was asleep at Cap-Haitian’s Hotellerie du Roi Christophe, when the local supervisor of one of my peer groups called. After a long day of co-facilitating a refresher seminar, my collaborator’s need had to be urgent. I answered.
“Did you hear that several of our people had died while attending a wedding in Bourdon, Port-au-Prince, and that some were in jail,” he spilled out in Haitian Kreyòl? I had not. “Port-au-Prince rose up to kill masisi,” he continued. “They burned a house and cars. Please call your powerful contacts to rescue our friends.” I followed his recommendation soon after we hung up. One of the heads of LGBTI organization Fondation SEROvie assured me that my peer supervisor’s story was overblown, and he offered a different account of the facts. An engagement ceremony (not a wedding) was attacked by about fifty area residents. Yes, the house and cars were torched. No one was fatally injured, and those who were in police custody had been released. That aspects of the altercation were skewed through teledjol (word of mouth), he noted, is a sad testament to the profound emotional impact the act of terror on queer bodies has on their kin and allies.
Later, my directors were baffled that the two men would display their love so unabashedly only three months after increased and visible surges of discriminatory attitude and violence toward their brethren. On May 17, 2013, at a broadcasted gathering to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), a community leader demanded equal rights for Haiti’s LGBTIs, equal to France’s recent Senate-approved bill that recognized same-sex marriage; the following day, French President François Hollande ratified the bill. Conservative Haitians responded immediately. For example, the Haitian Coalition of Religious and Moral Organizations banded to lead anti-homosexuality demonstrations in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Les Cayes, which resulted in the brutalization and death of several men and women. Many of my beneficiaries went into hiding in remote villages that they thought were sealed off from the big cities’ hunt. Even worse, anti-gay protesters recuperated the post-earthquake rhetoric that masisi and madivin, cursed for engaging in “Sodom and Gomorrah” practices, catalyzed the January 12, 2010 disaster, instigated the deaths of countless Christians, and continue to incubate several of the country’s ills. That August night, Bourdon residents probably believed they channeled God’s fury as they flung Molotov cocktails at the British Red Cross compound, much like burning sulphur rained down on the pariahs of those biblical cities long ago. They were sanitizing Haiti of yet another problem.
The fiancés and their close allies left Haiti for short while, until the homophobic and transphobic fervor somewhat cooled down. I continued my work with PSI-Haiti and its LGBTI partners until I left Haiti in May 2015. Two months later, Linda Marc of Harvard University School of Public Health recruited me to oversee four focus groups with a total of thirty-three MSM in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, and St. Marc. We studied the impact of perceived discrimination on these men. During interviews, several of my Port-au-Prince interlocutors remembered the Bourdon celebration and its aftermath as clear instances of the population’s rejection of same-sex desire. They also positioned the gathering as an activist feat: Showing that the community’s love deflates haters’ rhetoric. Intrigued by this doubling, I then spoke with the event’s participants.
I interviewed the ceremony’s Haitian fiancé and his close friends, the event planners. Eyewitness Josué Azor’s memories and vivid photographic documentation provide an intimate look of the evening and countered poorly-investigated and shallow media coverage of the festivity. Others like me who did not attend the event but supported the event participants in coping with the evening’s aftershocks pieced together the story as it became mythologized. Collectively, my interviewees were a focus group that allowed me to make intelligible how queer Haitians contended with the risks involved in transforming the engagement ceremony into a space of liberation.
Methodologically, my interlocutors’ textured testimonies inspired me to re-arrange excerpts of their audio interviews for several reasons. I processed, transcribed, and translated eight hours of Kreyòl conversations to create the performance. When I was putting the text together, I noticed a pattern. In telling their story, each person switched their tone repeatedly. Between breaths, they were teaching me a lesson, sharing a gossip or a secret with me, venting out their frustration, positively describing their roles, and evaluating the situation as an eyewitness. Each story obviously contained ranges of emotions. For example, my scrip’s “activist” character is fused from strands of five different interviews. Those were moments when the men voiced and displayed anger by leaning in, drawing back, folding arms, jabbing the air with the hands, standing up abruptly, pacing nervously as they dug into their memories. All of my interviewees switched personas to match their profound perspectives on the event. As a result, they worked hard at balancing multi-dimensional identities. They simultaneously or successively performed the various roles they don in their communities. Of course. Yet, in Haiti, these men are caricatured as single-minded and simple-bodied sexual deviants. I saw, heard and felt teachers, brothers, lovers, caregivers, and eyewitnesses. Therefore I fused interview strands that placed emphasis on those roles. In future iterations of this project, I hope performers will identify and embody additional roles.
Their witness, I also knew that I would be alone in transmitting the current iteration of their stories. Therefore, I would engage in a dialogue between self and my interviewees’ memory, a performance steeped in the present that inherently recomposes time, space, ideals, and bodies (Richards 2005, 617-18). I named the contributors who birthed the stories, and perform the various roles they each play in the gay Haitian collective, inspired by Assotto Saint’s words: “I give voices to my memories, desperate to bear witness, and settle accounts, choking on silence” (Saint 1996, 282). Additionally, I envision that an extended version of this piece will be performed in Haiti by a full cast, for spectators who might know Azor, Fils, Palemon, St. Preux, and Verneret. Directing special attention to queer Haitians’ active participation in Haiti’s social fabric would press all to reflect upon their own position as producers of identities and creators of social exchange, rather than to gravitate toward close, potentially stereotypical readings’ of their kin. Hence, the reason stage directions about embodiment and intonation are sparse: they are suggestive rather than prescriptive. Performers will resolve as a group how to embody the testimonies.
Second, this layered realization brought me back to a focus group in St. Marc. A young androgynous participant blurted that they had sex with other men without a condom and refused the use of a lubricant because, in their words: “m se yon senp masisi” – I am simply a masisi. I encouraged them to elaborate on their statement because their dismissive tone and clenched body posture as well as the reductive meaning of the word “senp” seemed to indicate rejection of rather than pride in being gender and sexually non-conforming. I will paraphrase their answer: As Haitian society says, they are nothing more than a masisi who deserves what they get, especially through and during sex, for loving it like a bouzen (whore) with men so much. To this day, I am not sure the teachable moment their charged assertion generated about fluid and nuanced identities, self-esteem, and self-care pressed him to re-evaluate the breadth and depth of their being. I have not seen them since. Yet, the following script’s multiple identity registers reflect what session participants and I claimed the St. Marc person possessed. Tout moun se moun (everyone is a person). They are as complex as any other human being. Now, to honor and respect similar ongoing debates among Haitian LGBTI folks and their allies, I am hoping that this collage of voices drowns out dissonant utterances about who and what is the Haitian “dwòl” (odd/queer) and/or perceived as such. Much like E. Patrick Johnson’s oral history Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South and its many theatrical versions that reinstate memory and lived experience as history for belittled African-American bodies, I too intercede in returning devalued stories into larger Haitian narratives. Akin to Johnson’s creation of a performance formula for ways of knowing, loving, and being by particular African-American men, who are often isolated in exchanges about race, gender, and sexuality in America, Our Love on Fire exhibits contested knowledges about gender, sexuality and class in Haiti. The voices in this script bear witness to “quare” Haitian islanders’ ways of knowing, loving and being that their bullies undermine. I interpret and embody their stories. “These were the living archives of faces, places, events, deaths, births, past sins, and sex” (Johnson 2012, 7). My own witnessing of Haitian queers banding together against incessant violence is my scholar-activist-performer stance to privilege these bodies as critical entities in knowledge production in Haiti and abroad. This is my effort to accompany my brothers and sisters across social borders, as resistance against the hegemonies of gender and sexual mobility.
NARRATOR: Krik? ASSEMBLY: Krak!
THE NARRATOR (Wears white from head to toe. As he transforms into other personas throughout the performance, he scrolls through Haitian photographer Josué Azor’s photographs that capture scenes from the August 10, 2013 engagement party):
I tell a story that Josué Azor, Jean Fils, Mikey Wikenson Palemon, Christopher St. Preux, and Giovanni Verneret transmitted to me during audio interviews and informal conversations, and that a dozen other gender and sexually liberated Haitians shared with me informally beginning August 2013. I am now folded into the collective “we”. WE want our names to be known.
“Nou pale ansanm,” we speak together, to call upon the Kreyòl expression “mache asanm” (walk together) that Dasha Chapman, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, Maya Deren, and Haitian queers and feminists invoke to assert our solidarity with instructive acts of resistance by Haiti women, male women, and female men.
We cherish the Kreyòl pronoun “nou,” “we” because the Haitian does not breathe, speak, walk, dance, love, mourn, or transition alone. Nou la (we are here). N ap gade (we’re paying attention). Nap fe efo (we’re overcoming). Pito nou led nou la! (we may be ugly, but we're here). We inhabit the unfathomable continuum of lwas, spirits, ancestors, contemporaries, and successors.
We transmit partial truths. Our truth of Josué’s, Jean’s, Mikey’s, Christopher’s and Giovanni’s truths, and the truths of the many witnesses who described a very banal yet quite touching demonstration of love between a Haitian man and his English male spouse, on August 10th, 2013, in Bourdon, Port-au-Prince. The celebration stopped when it was showered with Molotov cocktails, rocks, insults, and injuries.
We reject Port-au-Prince Government Commissioner Lucmane Dellile’s accusations to local news outlets that the event is a gross violation of Haitian legislation since the Haitian state does not authorize same-sex marriage. He misunderstood the nature of the intimate engagement party that was not presided by an officer of the law or a clergy of any kind, and therefore was symbolic and not illegal. His hysteria, ever since, has sanctioned the population’s ongoing vigilante justice against Haitian bodies read as queer.
Today, we dialogue with you in six registers: the educator, the artist, the confidant, the activist, the witness and myself the narrator. Our stories re-animate our bodies archived by Josué Azor in 2013. Like revenants, we give voices to our former selves. We re-trace the people’s reaction to help you process our images of queer love, by thinking through Gillian Rose’s provocation. We quote: “Images visualize (or render invisible) social difference. ‘A depiction is never just an illustration…it is the site for the construction and depiction of social difference.’” Images work by producing effects every time they are looked at. Taking an image seriously, then, also involves thinking about how it positions you, its viewer, in relation to it” (Rose 2007, 7-10). We invite you to register and evaluate your position vis-à-vis our lives, real, imagined and frozen.
We offer to you the early stage of an experimentation, inspired in part by performance scholar Thomas DeFrantz’s utopian call: “The Afro future queer makes space for voices. What do you want to say?” (DeFrantz 2015). Moved by such hope, we, the six of us, answer back: “We have much to say, but how does Haiti respond to us in that Afro future? We are telling. With our voices, our bodies, our ugly-beauties, we will carve, hell gouge a space in our Haitian “now” and future for queer voices.
THE EDUCATOR (laughs flirtatiously):
In certain Haitian cities and circles, I am known as Wa Masisi, the faggot king, because of my HIV/AIDS and STD prevention work with same-sex loving people throughout the country. It’s not an easy title to bear as I roll into a small city, with a driver in a big white four-wheel drive Jeep, and then try to collaborate discreetly with beneficiaries of my sexual education program. But being Wa Masisi in the nice car, staying at the nice hotel under the protection of a powerful American non-governmental organization keeps the violence at bay. And there are other FUN perks! Anyway. The first time I heard of men getting engaged was in December 2012. That’s when it became fashionable. Men got engaged to one another because they wanted our community to know that they had a serious boyfriend. I’ve attended these gatherings where the men exchange rings and kiss. It’s not ordinarily a big deal. Sometimes, the couple invites a person who knows the wedding ritual process – one, two, three – to emcee the event. It’s something we want, for a majority of us, but like, it’s not really our custom. You know in Haiti they don’t accept two gays or two lesbians to get married. Right? It’s not legal here but, in our sheer madness, we want to do it. You know, we grew up seeing that a man and a woman in love get married. So if the two of us are in love, for most of us, we have to get married. You believe in that love, because these days, when you’re in love with an Ogou Batagri - a manly man – and he says: we must get married! He calls you: manmi, madanm mwen, my wife, etc. The man makes you…live! Makes you feel what you deeply want to hear.
Anyway…these guys wanted to celebrate their love. And they are now legally married in Europe, okay? I didn’t attend the party because I had to supervise a MSM (men who have sex with men) peer session in Marchand-Dessalines. I know the event happened at a private location reserved for foreign Red Cross employees. The expat fiancé worked there. That Bourdon neighborhood is… “peple” overpopulated. Too many eyes staring you down. As people trekked up to the location, the effeminate men with clutch purses attracted the pèp’s attention.
I was told that things started going bad when one of the masters of ceremony, in full drag, with long hair and nails and whose friend couldn’t find the place, opened up the gate and ushered her friend inside. And then, a bunch of guys across the street who saw her said: KI KAKA SA A? WHAT IS THIS SHIT?
THE ARTIST (chin forward, a lit cigarette in hand, very direct):
I am really proud of myself. I am not ashamed of all that happened. I try to fight for everything I want and where I want to go. I am an artist BUT, to be precise, Haiti turned me into a star. It’s after this event that everybody knows me and my name. I was one of the fiancés. My English husband and I started planning the engagement party before the July 2013 anti-homosexuality demonstrations. We didn’t think the protests would last beyond that. And we decided that OUR love would last. What drove us to have a party? Normally, we are fighting for our rights. So, if two people decide to get engaged, it’s their right whether they are a man and a woman, two men or two women. It’s their right. So. We decided to get engaged. That was our only point of view. We were enjoying our rights. As simple as that.
It was an event by invitation only. Very exclusive! There were about 40 to 50 people. There were Haitians, foreigners, mostly men, gay, no lesbians, there were heteros, BUT no male heteros. I was mainly taking care of my female cousin and a female friend who were there – both heterosexual. These are people who are not a part of my world, who accept me, who were at my side that day.
The theme colors were orange and green, my favorite colors. And they’re very vibrant, for our world. We started out with cocktails and discussions about everything, homosexuality, and how to care for ourselves. And then, we all gathered, we exchanged rings. There were drag queens, my performance group was supposed to perform songs and dances…The protest? The protest happened toward the end of the ceremony. Later, I said: those people were stupid. They came at the last minute.
I was downstairs in the courtyard, and I was going upstairs, and I heard a rock slam against a window near me. “BOW!” But the window was bulletproof. At the same time, people started panicking inside. I went back down, to the main gates, and I could feel that there was crowd on the other side. From what we were told, there were more than a hundred people outside, and the noise reflected that. I went back inside. People were crying, some fainted, some were throwing back insults. We all started to plan what to do next since there was no other exit but those gates. And the gates were on fire. THEY TORCHED THE GATES!!!
They threw rocks. They threw rocks. They threw rocks. We thought that after awhile it would stop. Also, there was a generator on the property. The protesters threw several Molotov cocktails at the generator so they can burn the house down. My priority then was to get my cousin and my friend safely off the premises.
THE CONFIDANT (timid, distracted):
I don’t know if one man in drag triggered the people’s outrage. I heard one of the guests explain how he got lost on the way to the house, and instead of using common sense, and trek up the hill with the moto-taxi, he made his driver stop at a busy corner down the hill to ask a group of men where the Red Cross location was. He saw thuggish men and his languet bat fò (clitoris palpitated rapidly)! The men rejected his girly ways, and he got jeered and slapped. I heard that, as he hopped on the moto-taxi and sped away, he dropped the invitation. That’s what caused the problem. A piece of paper about two men getting engaged. That’s why the population downhill came to break up the gay party up top. I can confirm that it’s not the first time something like that has happened at a gay party. We’ve been at parties where, because of the noise level, people throw rocks or bottles at the house. They want to prevent too much noise. If they know there is a homosexual gathering, they want to stop it. But the afternoon of August 10th, it was different.
The two cars parked outside of the property belonged to a guest and me, and the population burned them. Also, we overheard people outside saying: “aba masisi!” Some of those protesters tried to get inside and tried to break down the gates. The expats called their local representatives. We called influential contacts in the LGBT community. We called the police. When police officers came, they said they would get us out.
Some guests got in their cars and several Red Cross cars in the yard. Throughout the experience, we’re overhearing protesters say: “Don’t go in. Wait ‘til they come out so we can burn them alive, because they have guns inside.” I heard that with my own ears. I’m hearing the population’s frustration. The people chanted: burn those masisi, chop the faggots, masisi getting married.” They created a song like:
Si yo tire sou nou, nap mete dife
Pèp la nan grangou, masisi ape marye
If they shoot us, we will burn it all
People are starving and faggots are getting married
THE ACTIVIST (sharp hand gestures, rapid speech):
I went into the yard and threw the rocks back at them. I couldn’t see the crowd. But I threw rocks anyway because it’ll hit somebody anyway. I. Was. Angry. It’s vexing that we’re doing something at a private property and the population decides to invade it.
The police? There were about than ten officers. They were really casual about the whole thing. They were all relaxed, watching the population throw stuff at us. Of course, I am against police violence. But, they could have taken some action to make sure the population backed down. Which they didn’t. They did nothing.
In fact, they were really aggressive toward us. A couple of guys tried to leave, the officers shoved them and said: “Look at the masisi. Fout antre! Get the fuck inside!” “You put us all in danger,” they said, “and now you’re trying to make it worse.”
Those officers were ignorant ass-kissers! If we didn’t grow a pair of balls, we wouldn’t have left the house. They came just to show that they were there but they didn’t do shit. When the officers arrived, the crowd was at a distance. The crowd approaches. With their numbers and their guns, they can’t stop that crowd? Luckily we had enough Red Cross backup to leave.
As we’re driving away, I noticed a lady in her nightgown; she’s gathering rocks and throwing them at us. In her nightgown! The officers just stood there. The entire situation was incomprehensible. Things I had only seen on film. Things I had only seen on film.
The police insisted we go to the station with them. When we got there, instead of feeling relief, we felt even more panicked. Several officers were arrogant, cussing out: masisi getting married! Ah!!! The fiancé spoke up and said: It wasn’t a wedding. It was an engagement ceremony. The officer said: shut the fuck up.
The fiancé: “I have a mouth, I’m free to speak right now, and you didn’t catch me doing a criminal act. I have a right to say what I want to say.
The officer: “If you don’t shut up, I’ll fucking slap you!”
The fiancé: “Do what you got to do, but you can’t keep us here, wasting our time because we need to get home.”
The officer: “Well, if it weren’t for us, you would have died over there.”
The fiancé: “The way you’re treating us, you should have left us there, because you didn’t do shit for us.”
And then, there was a huge argument. And the station’s chief came, found that the officers were too arrogant with us downstairs, he made us go to an upper level room, he made us write our names down for a report, and then let us go. But the officers’ words were ugly, really ugly that day. If it were up to them, we would have slept at the station that night.
THE WITNESS (relaxed, careful with his word choice):
We were in a distressing situation…very distressing…the people were throwing fire at the house. They burnt cars. So, there was no doubt that the stress level was palpable. Yes, the police may have been there for us but, you’re in a stressful situation, and police officers say to you: “I hear you’re having a wedding here. You know that it’s not legal.” Is this the time to start an argument on “wedding”, “not a wedding,” “if it’s legal,” “if it’s not legal” when the priority is to evacuate us? One officer didn’t stop arguing with me until I found an invitation. I remember saying to him: “Sir, you’re reading it wrong, they wrote “engagement.” It’s not a wedding. It’s not the same thing.” And he became…I won’t say he calmed down but…he didn’t say much afterwards. The officers were really reticent. It felt as though…I’m happy that they came, because it would have been difficult to get out of there…but at the same time, they came with, po dyab (poor devils), with a baggage of homophobia.
I had the opportunity to photograph the couple, and a little bit when things soured. In the image selection, I have images where cars were burning. But I’m quite reserved about such images. I want them to be displayed in a way that makes viewers understand it is a particular context.
That expression of homophobia is violent, but it’s not ongoing in Haiti. Very often, there’s homophobic violence through remarks, and through behaviors. Very often. But the violent act of burning a house and cars? As far back as I remember, I’ve never seen or heard of such a thing. And you have to be careful if you’re showing images like that so you don’t encourage the thought: oh, Haitian society, if they know you’re masisi, they will burn down your house. Which is not necessarily true. I haven’t lived in all of Haiti’s social levels – that would be complicated. But my experience is that homophobia is generally expressed through utterances. And I’ve observed that, in our society, that has a very strong machismo culture…It seems that men express themselves…I’m not saying that women are not homophobic…men are more prone to physical violence, and tend to express their homophobia with more visible forms of violence…It seems that men feel the need to open their throat louder to show that they’re against homosexuality. Maybe it shows that they have bigger dicks, and bigger, heavier balls. It seems that way. It’s like, in a sense, a way for them to come to terms with their own masculinity. And it’s a way for them, to set boundaries. And they could well be gay, BUT it’s also an attitude…it’s a social position relative to others, to their friends, to size each other up, and to lead one another to those homophobic remarks. It can also be really dangerous.
I have a lot of reservation about the violence at the engagement party. This was a party with a dress code. It wasn’t a simple dress code. It was orange and green. Flashier than that, and you’d die. They ask you to come to a party wearing orange and green. What are they trying to tell you? That announced something was happening at the house, and I think something was said before the party, and it operates within the entire anti-gay protest movement at that time. It wasn’t a random act of violence. It was something that was discussed well in advance. Where do you know that you can mobilize such a large group to do Molotov cocktails? Do you know how to do a Molotov cocktail? It’s an entire production. You have to find the bottles, you have to buy gasoline, you have to make the wick. Sorry, that protest was well prepared. Throwing rocks? Okay! And it might be easy to burn a car, but even then, maybe I’m stupid, but I just can’t take a lighter and a match and say I’m going to put a car on fire. You need gasoline. It was in a poor neighborhood. A person just said: Let me buy a gallon of gasoline and burn it? No. You don’t need God or a fortune-teller to see that there was organization behind that protest. For me it’s clear. The people are homophobic, and they said: we’re going to do this. It was an organized protest. How many gay engagement parties, how many gay weddings throughout the country, why this one?
I’m not saying that I’m correct but, to me, there’s a political aspect to this. It was a politicized protest. There was a message, whoever and whatever group organized it; they were sending a message that advertised their hostility, and to proclaim their homophobia.
NARRATOR: Krik? ASSEMBLY: Krak!
 PSI is a global health network of more than 60 local organizations dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV and AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. See: http://www.psi.org/about/at-a-glance/
 For an in-depth analysis of Haiti’s summer 2013 anti-homosexuality demonstrations and their relationship to ones in France and the United States, see Erin Durban-Albrecht’s essay “Performing Postcolonial Homophobia: A Decolonial Analysis of the 2013 Public Demonstrations Against Same-Sex Marriage in Haiti” in this issue.
 The photographs are reprinted in this issue with Josué Azor’s consent. Their uses in all other endeavors are subject to the written approval of the photographer.
Azor, Josué. 2015. Interview. Port-au-Prince, Haiti; 06 July.
DeFrantz, Thomas F. 2015. where did I think I was going? [moving into signal]. 17 Oct. performance presented as part of afroFUTUREqu##r, curated by DeFrantz and Niv Acosta, JACK performance venue, Brooklyn, NY, October 15 – 18.
Fils, Jean. 2015. Interview. Pétion-Ville, Haiti; 19 April.
Johnson, E. Patrick. 2012. Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. Chapel Hill: University North Carolina Press.
Palemon, Wikenson. 2015. Interview. Pétion-Ville, Haiti; 12 April.
Richards, Sandra L. 2005. “What Is to Be Remembered?: Tourism to Ghana's Slave Castle-Dungeons.” Theatre Journal 57: 617-637.
Rose, Gillian. 2007. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the interpretation of Visual Materials, 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications.
Saint, Assotto. 1996. Spells of a Voodoo Doll: The Poems, Fiction, Essays, and Plays of Assotto Saint. New York: Masquerade Books.
St. Preux, Christopher. 2015. Interview. Pétion-Ville, Haiti; 18 April.
Verneret, Giovanni. 2015. Interview. Pétion-Ville, Haiti; 19 April.
Mario LaMothe is a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Illinois – Chicago’s African-American Cultural Center. He was a Postdoctoral Associate in Interdisciplinary Sexuality Studies at Duke University’s Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, and received a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Mario’s research interests focus on theories of Caribbean performance traditions and African diaspora health cultures. His book project, Giving Bodies: Dance, Memory, and Imagined Identities in Haiti, investigates what is at stake when performing and visual artists reframe Haiti’s embodied traditions to devise new images that counter internal and foreign negative representations of Haitians. Mario is also a performing artist, arts producer, curator, and LGBTQI activist.