Öneza Lafontant

Öneza Lafontant is a cultural activist, musician, and founder of CTMD Touring Artist group Kongo, an Afro-Haitian roots music band based in Brooklyn. The Haitian artists, musicians, and activists of Kongo work from the conviction that the artist must represent the community and organize people to bring about positive change. Titled “Nou Sòti Lwen” (We’ve Come So Far), this program addresses spiritual healing in the time of Covid-19 and the traditional wellness practices that members of the Haitian community have turned to for treatment, prevention, and spiritual well-being. Lafontant lifts the names and contributions of Haitian community members who have transitioned during the pandemic and memorializes four elders who have been cultural gatekeepers over the decades. These four leaders are a Haitian traditional dancer, a vodou priestess, a Haitian folk drummer, and the founder of a Haitian cultural center. Interspersed with performances of Haitian folk songs and traditional rhythms, the program also addresses how the Haitian community has been affected by the systemic racism that has been exposed in recent months, in terms of healthcare services, police abuse and in society at large.

From The Caribbean
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