THE NOU SERIES: AN EMBODIED HISTORY AND BODY INSTALLATION PROJECT
April 2019 - January 2020
Funded by the Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund, Protest Garden is an immersive series of outdoor installations gauging activism through an intersectional lens. As participating artists, Kriyol Dance! Collective will be creating new movement work that explores the intersections of archival methodologies, muscle memory, and spirituality, and, that offers public workshops geared toward self-care and community healing.
The Nou Series is an experiment in embodied knowledge, resistance, and history that prioritizes “nou” (“us” in Haitian Creole). By exploring the history of The Wyckoff House, documented memories of native Lenape peoples and enslaved Africans in Canarsie, and the migration of Black Caribbeans to Brooklyn, through a lens of muscle memory and spirituality, we hope to build a connected narrative and express it through movement. Our goal is that by positioning our bodies as museum installations we can expand and interrogate stories and processes of cultural preservation and community identity.
"This performance has solidified the power of our collective movement in a way that feels exciting as we continue to grow our work. It speaks volumes about our capacity moving forward given how seamlessly we were able to create a connected story though each of us as individuals moved from a distinct perspective and dance vocabulary."
THE ENSLAVED SENTIMENT
Kouzen Zaka Embodied.
"I struggled with this concept of labor. I struggled with the idea that this land could be purchased fairly. I struggled with the lack of information about what work on this land looked like daily for indigenous folk and enslaved people who contributed to Wyckoff’s wealth."
"My presence in the Nou Series Tour serves as a symbol of strength, adventure, rise to challenge, and perseverance in the face of adversity. My story is one of preparation, hardship, and ultimately, hope for success."
THE STORM AND THE GRAVEYARD
Embodied Oya & Grann Brigit.
"For my solo, I was inspired by the ideas of buried knowledge and winds of change. A tree and dirt are used to represent man’s relationship to the earth and it’s embedded knowledge we all possess. We use this knowledge to inform us of our heritage, guide us through struggle, and fuel us through change and revolution."
SEREMONI. THE CELEBRATION.
Kriyol Vodou Band
This finale was intended to bring cohesion to our stories. During the live tour, we invited participants to interact directly with each installed body.