Known as a regional Caribbean hub, the city of Miami will once again be the host city for the Tout-Monde Festival, a five-day event aimed at reconnecting the French Caribbean to other Caribbean, American and international artists and institutions through artistic, cultural and intellectual engagements.
Founded by Vanessa Selk, Cultural Attaché of the French Embassy in the United States, the festival is organized by Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the USA, as well as the France Florida Foundation for the Arts and French Arts Associates. Selk says the festival is about “opening the eyes of the world to the Caribbean, by transcending tropicalist and exotic perceptions resulting from historic domination and “mis-media.” It will take place Wednesday. March 13 – 17 at various cultural institutions, with all events free and open to the public.
Grab the family and enjoy a full weekend of cultural entertainment to include:
- Celebrations introducing Caribbean food and dishes during the opening ceremony on Wednesday, March 13, the exhibition opening on Saturday, March 16 and during the closing ceremony on Sunday, March 17. Each will offer the opportunity for the public to taste some of the Caribbean savors.
- Performances by Yué# Sorority, a 100% female choreography and installation project to unite women facing climate change, at the PAMM on Thursday, March 14 presented by Guy Gabon, Anne Meyer and Myriam Soulanges.
- Beyond the exhibitions “Echo-Natures: Cannibale Desire” (on view until April 17) at the Little Haiti Cultural Center and “Echo-Natures: Rituels Numériques” at the Wolfsnian-FIU (on view through April).
- The ”Bubbles” performance by Henri Tauliaut with Patricia Carby interpreting aquatic creatures at the Wolfsonian-FIU on Friday, March 15.
- The Biosphere breakdance show retracing the evolution of the creation of Earth on Saturday, March 16.
- The “Raranaval” street procession curated by Giscard Bouchotte inviting Haitian traditions and musical performances to symbolically take ownership of the luxurious Design District on Sunday afternoon March 17.
- The theater play “Hurricanes” during the closing ceremony on Sunday, March 17 which will represent a quite dramatic and powerful ending.
- Dedicated program for the youth through Tout-Monde Teens! and Tout-Monde Kids.
Taking a Deeper Look
Joining this year’s festival is French film director and producer Fanny Glissant of the documentary “Slavery Routes who is originally from Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. In an interview, Glissant stated that Caribbean food is the cultural result of transatlantic slavery and that the Caribbean was transformed into “sugar lands,” producing only one good and therefore having to import all other necessities that present the very essence of Caribbean dishes.
In addition, this year several artists expressed their concerns about food’s transformation through chemicals as well as food access after devasting hurricanes. The exhibition “Echo-Natures: Cannibal Desire,” curated by Jean-Marc Hunt and Marie Vickles is about the symbolic devouring of a colonizing culture, echoing the surroundings of super-consumerism in the USA.
Other notable celebrities of French Caribbean descent appearing during this year’s festival include Valérie Loichot, Professor at Emory University, curator Jean-Marc Hunt, artist in residence Gwladys Gambie and pianist Maher Beauroy.
The second year of the Toute-Monde Festival will boast 30 events with more than 30 artists and six cultural institutions, an increase over its first year. For a full list of events, times and locations, visit http://www.tout-monde-festival.com. You can also follow the weekend on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.