NEH Workshop: The Digital Lakou

Haitian art is often viewed from distorted lenses due to artistic production that is marked by the language of tourism, galleries, and the art market. The Haitian Arts Digital Crossroads (HADC) aims to unearth and form new narratives of Haitian art while aiding in the digitization of Haitian art collections throughout the Diaspora. We are organizing ongoing special topic courses, workshops, and focus groups to assist us in the development of our meta-data schema and Kreyol thesaurus. Through the National Endowment for the Humanities and support from the Green Family Foundation, the HADC project is bringing various scholars, museum leaders, artists, and cultural leaders to create an interdisciplinary discussion and analysis of Haitian art and visual culture.  These efforts are intended to create a digital “lakou” (communal space) to understand how significant events impact cultural and archival studies and how these events give new footing to cultural identity, Indigenous values, and community sustainability through textual, performance, and visual art. As a Haitian Kreyol term used to describe a shared public space within a village or amongst homes, our “lakou” attempts to maintain a virtual collective amongst institutions, using the lakou as a space for advice and inter-institutional collaboration. HADC actively invites partners to Iowa, and we aim to create a virtual community and network for regional, national, and international partners.