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"Taking the Struggle to the Streets: Black Lives Always Mattered"

Collette Fournier | New York, United States

Organization: Kamoinge.com

United Nations, NYC, NY; December 1991; Haitian rally against Pres. George Bush and AIDS controversy at United Nations, NYC. The history of slavery In Saint-Domingue, like that of slavery everywhere, is a history of constant rebellion and resistance. Haiti as a territory of France history is very connected to the French Revolution of 1789 which sparked the Haitian Revolution of 1791. History shows that since Haiti's revolution against slavery, which sparked U.S. slavery revolts. The United States government has never looked kindly upon Haiti due to her people's resistance.

As a youngster of about 5 or 6 years old, my older sister revealed that our people were once slaves. I have been on a visual journey since that time to document my people in the Diaspora. That exploration has taken me to various points across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and West Africa. I look for communities that celebrate our blackness and educate our communities. As a photographer, I work in a series which enables me to revisit and expand upon my ideas. My experience told me that the story rarely ends. Sometimes I simply photograph one signature image that can be added to the series. It was a moment in time that moved me and had to be documented.

Starting my journey in the early 1970s photographing in film and transitioning to digital in 2005 and learning the electronic darkroom empowered me. Digital photography took me to an undiscovered level. The Powerpoint and Zoom platforms have provided a means to deliver one’s vision instantaneously. These changes gave me the capacity to expand my vision and process.

“I organized this production for The Gordon Cultural Arts Center. We are an organization that strives to bring arts and culture to the Rockland County community. My body of photographic work shows the journeys I have traveled as an African American female photographer. Unless one is in an artist’s shoes, you cannot imagine the roads I have traveled and the sacrifices I had to make to document my people. I am still on that journey.”

Collette V. Fournier

Collette V. Fournier





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