Usach Migrant Culture Festival: Haiti

About fifteen free activities with music, dance, cinema, literature, gastronomy celebrate Haitian culture.

Haitian popular culture arrives at the Usach campus: the IV version of the Migrant Culture Festival will take place from May 2 to 12, a free activity open to the public, which this year will dedicate its programming to Haiti. The legendary roots and vodou rock band RAM, the writer Jean Casimir and the filmmaker Arnold Antonin, are some of the names that will animate more than 15 meetings around the art and popular culture of the island.

Gastronomy, visual arts, heritage, literature, cinema, music and dance will be the disciplines through which the new edition of the Intercultural Festival of the University of Santiago will pass. A meeting that has been taking place since 2017 under the curatorship of the Usach Extension Department, with the intention of sharing popular cultural expressions from countries with a migratory presence in our country.

Peru, Colombia and Mexico have been part of previous versions and this year it is the turn of Haiti – the first nation in the Americas to become independent and abolish slavery. A territory present in Chile with 12.2% according to INE data, which reached our borders as a result of a strong economic, political and social crisis that has violated the basic rights of the population.

This prolonged crisis has monopolized the conversations around the Caribbean country, relegating transcendental aspects of its culture such as its dance, music, visual arts and poetry, rich popular manifestations born centuries ago from the syncretism of a population mainly from the African continent.

It is precisely this rich cultural, artistic and patrimonial history that accounts for the programming of this Festival that will take place between May 2 and 12 on the unique campus of the Usach. Among its main free activities and open to the public are the debut in Chile of RAM, visits by consular figures of art and the Haitian academy such as the sociologist Jean Casimir and the filmmaker Arnold Antonin, as well as representatives of the Haitian community residing in Chile. : the iron sculptor James St Cloux, the choreographer Evens Clecerma, the singer Florie and the poet Jean Jacques Pierre-Paul, among others.

Evens Clecerma.

“We know much less about Haiti than we should. One of the first nations in the world to abolish slavery, in a context in which very little even questioned its existence, or defeating Napoleon before Waterloo, are things we should learn at school. However, everything is always focused on their pains, which are many and urgent, but little in their immense cultural richness”, says the director of Extension Usach, Andrés Zúñiga.

“A humble way of contributing to broaden our view of this sister nation is this Festival, which, mind you, was designed jointly with artists, managers, diplomats, students and different people of Haitian origin, since it was very important that their programming -from the graphics to the selection of the artist- was not determined by the vision that we as Chilean men and women had of Haiti; Rather, what moves us is to achieve a sense of belonging among a community that has experienced the worst faces of racism in Chile, but also a growing and sincere interest in its culture”, adds the manager and director of the festival.

James St Cloux.

Concerts, keynote talks, film series, talks, art shows, workshops, poetry reading, dance performances and a daily lunch menu, the university community and the general public may attend from Tuesday 2 tohe Friday May 12 to spaces such as the Aula Magna Theater, the FAE Auditorium, the Central Casino, Sala Estación and the Salón de Honor.

The event is organized by the Extension Department, financed by the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with the Embassy of Haiti in Chile, Ambos Editores. The Usach Cultural Corporation, the Vice-Rectors for Links with the Environment, Student Support and the Faculty of Administration and Economics of the University of Santiago.



Special Migration and exile. Tuesday May 2, 6:30 p.m. Usach Station Room (Las Sophoras 175).
exhibition of Haitian corner (1988), the debut film by Raoul Peck, a filmmaker and political activist who in 1997 was Haiti’s Minister of Culture. The film was awarded in Berlin and Locarno and tells the story of a Haitian poet who flees to the United States after being imprisoned by the dictatorship of his native country. One day he meets his former tormentor and becomes obsessed with taking revenge on him.

Special Migration and exile. Wednesday May 3, 6:30 p.m. Usach Station Room (Las Sophoras 175).
Chilean film screening Petit Frere (2018) by directors Roberto Collío and Rodrigo Robledo. Wilner Petit-Frère is a Haitian who observes and captures in a printed bulletin the society where he had to reside in this period of his life, and he is the guiding voice of this documentary that unites the personal and collective vision of Haitian migration in Chile.

arnold antonin.

Retrospective of Arnold Antonin (Haiti, 1942). Monday May 8, 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Usach Station Hall (The Sophoras 175).
Extended day of exhibitions, plus cinema forum with the filmmaker, economist and human rights activist on his visit to our country. It has more than 40 films about the culture, art and history of his country. See all the details.

Journey through the worlds of Frankétienne (2015). Friday, May 12, 10:00 a.m. Usach Station Hall (The Sophoras 175).
Poet, novelist, painter, musician, activist, Frankétienne (Franck Étienne Ravine-Sèche, 1936) is the total artist of the Haitian people. This documentary takes us through the ins and outs of his creation, that of a Nobel Prize contender and director of his own death.


Usach Symphonic Choir Sings to Haiti. Thursday May 4, 7:30 p.m. Aula Magna Usach Theater (Víctor Jara 3659).
The choral cast will present a repertoire of Haitian popular music together with the adaptation of the Mass Luba (1958), the work of the Belgian friar Guido Haazen, considered key in the rescue of music with African roots by adapting this mass in Latin to the traditional singing of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Traditional Haitian songs are added with arrangements by Sten Kälman and solo voice of the Haitian singer Florie. The Mass Luba will feature the tenor Ricardo Gálvez and the percussion of Pablo Espinoza, José Vinot and Gaspar Aedo.

Usach Madrigal Choir: “Negrillas y otros sones”. Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.. Aula Magna Theater Usach (Victor Jara 3659).
A program dedicated to the African influence on American colonial music, is what the choral cast will address in this concert with works by composers such as Gaspar Fernández (1563/1571-1629), Juan de Araujo (1646-1712) and Mateo Flecha ( 1481–1553), as well as Haitian folk songs.

Dance and spirit: approach to Haitian rhythms. Thursday May 11, 5:00 p.m. Aula Magna Theater Usach (Victor Jara 3659).
A meeting with vinyl, cd’s and live music will animate the members of the band RAM -Lunise & Richard Morse- and the choreographer and cultural manager Evens Clecerma, who will talk about dance and the spirituality of Haitian music linked to the sounds of the kompa , rara, zouk , raisin (root) and vodou. Moderated by journalist Rodrigo Alarcón.

Concert “Songs in memory of Joane Florvil”. Thursday May 11, 7:00 p.m. Aula Magna Usach Theater (Víctor Jara 3659).
The Usach Percussion Ensemble and the musicians Carlomarco, Abelardo Augusto & Chikadora present live the album from the Aula Records label with root, contemporary and electronic music, in tribute to the Haitian woman who died in 2017 after a series of institutional negligence that They showed the worst face of racism in Chile.

Debut concert of the Haitian group RAM. With more than 30 years of musical activity and with a residence divided between Port-au-Prince and New Orleans, the most important active band of Haitian popular music makes its debut in Chile with its explosive mix of folklore, punk, rock and voudou.

visual arts

Inauguration of the exhibition “The language of iron”. Monday May 8, 11:00 a.m. Hall of the FAE Building (Alameda 3336).
Heir to a clan of artisans from Croix des Bouquets, city of the “art of cut drums”, James St Cloux (1992), artist invited by the festival, will present a series of pieces made exclusively for this exhibition. Human figures, flora, fauna and vodou deities (loas) are part of the work of this young Haitian artist living in Chile, who works with the recycling of raw material from oil drums. The exhibition includes works by masters from the town of St Cloux such as the Balan brothers and Serge Jolimeau, probably the most international sculptor in this technique.

Tuesday May 9 and Wednesday May 10, 10:30 a.m. FAE Building (Alameda 3336).
Workshops “Haitian sculptures in iron”. Haitian artist James St Cloux directs this workshop, where the 10 participants will be able to make their own sculptures with popular Haitian motifs. Includes materials.


Afro contemporary dance Trance: body and ancestry. Tuesday May 9, 7:30 p.m. FAE Auditorium (Alameda 3336).
In charge of the Jafco América company led by the Haitian choreographer and cultural manager Evens Clercema (1981), the piece presents us from the theme of migration, a trip to the Haitian Voodoo tradition, with three movements created from traditional rhythms of the island culture: the Yanvalou, Mayi and Ibo.

Body trance and ancestry. Photo: @jafcoamerica.


Talk “Vodou in Haitian culture”. Tuesday May 9, 6:00 p.m. FAE Auditorium (Alameda 3336).
Meeting with Lunise and Richard Morse, who in addition to being the leaders of the emblematic RAM band, are spiritual leaders of the Vodou religion, the most popular in Haiti. About this mixture of cults from Africa, they will talk with the public, delving into this way of life that has resisted for more than five centuries despite its caricature and fierce persecution.

Jean Casimir: A decolonial reading of the History of Haitians. Wednesday 10, 5:00 p.m. Usach Hall of Honor (Alameda 3363).
Meeting with the sociologist, who is one of Haiti’s most important and cited living intellectuals. From his text published in Chile in 2022 by Ambos Editores, he will address a reflection on the colonialist gaze that still falls on Haiti, a worldview that Casimir proposes to assault through a dissection this Eurocentric and racist discourse, proposing a revolution from power and the beauty of the sovereign people. Presents Mercedes Bustamante from Ambos Editores.

Jean Casimir.


Poetry recital and book launch. Friday the 12th, from 12 noon. Usach Station Hall (The Sophoras 175).
A group of young Haitian poets residing in Chile present their books: Destinynovel by Islande François; A thousand phrases under my armscollection of poems by Ricardo Augusto and Delirium zero, poems by Jean Jacques Pierre-Paul. The latter, a doctor, poet and visual artist who was the first to publish his work in national territory, has summoned a new generation of new poets who address issues such as exile, discrimination, Afro-descendants and identity. The poetry recital will be given by: Makanaki Audain, Ricardo Auguste, Stevenson Jacques, Islande Francois, Vanessa Dacier, Gro Moral, Jean Jacques Pierre-Paul and Jerry Ralph Brizard.


Haitian popular cuisine. From Monday 8 to Friday 12 May, between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Casino Central Usach (The Belloto 3648).
The team from the emblematic Casino of the University of Santiago, inside the School of Arts and Crafts, joins Haitian cook Janeze Mieze to offer the best of Haitian popular cuisine. The menu is subject to daily availability, for a value of $2500.

Poster: @pajarosenla.cabeza.

Information: Usach Extension Department.

Usach Migrant Culture Festival: Haiti – UC Radio Beethoven