Photo: Archivio COOPI
Together with the Alta Mane Foundation, based in Geneva, COOPI Suisse promotes Haitian craftsmanship thanks to professional training programs, which will be exhibited during the “Salone del Mobile” in Milan from the 5th to the 9th of April 2017.
The Haitian Culture Week in Milan is the first date for a European calendar, which includes the establishment of another two weeks dedicated to Haitian culture: one in Rennes and one in Brussels.
These three cultural weeks represent the highlight of the European Program for Culture, a project that COOPI – International Cooperation Foundation launched in 2015 together with Volontariat pour le Develloppement d’Haiti e AfricAmerica. Thereby the country’s economic development is promoted thanks to funding of the European Union, the Swiss Alta Mane Foundation and the collaboration with COOPI Suisse.
Morena Zucchelli, COOPI’s Head of Mission in Haiti – “With a past of cataclysms and political instability, Haiti today is a country subject to continuous shocks that prevent its economic development. Nonetheless, the values of art and culture have never ceased to be present in the daily lives of local communities. That is why we want to revive art as a positive value for Haiti’s development through the European Program for Culture.“
The Haitian Culture Week in Milan will be officially inaugurated Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the Stecca, Milan. During the opening ceremony a cocktail will be offered to all participants for free.
During the inauguration, handcrafted items will be exhibited. The work selected for the exhibition represents a sample of the main artistic trends of the Haitian tradition:
The weaving of voodoo cloths, practical tools of one of the world’s oldest religions whose history has crossed centuries and continents and is still widespread in Haiti;
The creation of sculptures made of papier-mâché, particularly known in the Caribbean because of the carnival celebration;
Work made of wrought iron (fer forgé), Haiti’s artistic speciality that boasts the names of some nationally renowned artists.
Among them, the Haitian artist Jean Eddy Remy – former Chairman of the National Haitian Craft Federation – will be hosting the Haitian Culture Week in Milan with a live performance demonstrating the workmanship of his precious wrought iron carvings.
The creations of Haitian artists who participated in the “Culture-à-porter” atelier held in Haiti by the renowned Italian designer Arturo Vittori will also be exhibited.
During this workshop, Vittori showed local craftsmen the innovative potential of Haitian craftsmanship in the European art scene. Prêt-à-porter’s artistic works have come true: the perfect representation of a constantly evolving cultural tradition ready to embrace European innovation enthusiastically.
In addition, a personal exhibition of the Italian director and photographer Andrea Ruffini is to be presented. The exhibition, edited by Chiara Oggioni Tiepolo, will display a selection of photographs and short videos that illustrate the peculiarity of Haitian culture: an absolute unique melange of Caribbean and Spanish culture with strong African influences reflected in local crafts.
The exhibition of handicrafts and Andrea Ruffini’s photographs and videos will be available at La Stecca (Via G. De Castillia 26) from 5th to 9th April, 2017.
Entrance is free of charge, as well as the open ceremony on the 6th of April.
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