SOUL JAZZ BOOKS
Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti
Edited by Stuart Baker. Text by Leah Gordon, Don Constantino, Richard Fleming, Kathy Smith, Myron Beasley. Photographs by Leah Gordon.
Voodoo, sex, death and revolution are the main ingredients of the street theatre carnival of Jacmel, Haiti, where the men wear drag, black up, wear cow horns, throw lassos and dance with snakes in their mouths. In Haiti, carnivals offer an opportunity for people to come together-to hang out, sing, dance, laugh and to generally let go. Light years away from the government- sponsored, tourist inspired carnival floats of so many other cultures, the Haitian carnival is particularly notable for its more sober political dimension, as a venue for Haitian peasants to discuss local politics, or older, nagging, historical problems dating back to the slave revolts-and as an occasion to commune with ancestors both personal and historical. With oral histories from participants, Karnaval is a fascinating combination of photography, cultural analysis and anthropology.