“Through the lens of this exhibit, I hope you will appreciate the universal dimension of the Haitian culture,” said Professor Jean Eddy Saint Paul, founding director of the CUNY Haitian Studies Institute (HSI), at the November 16 opening for “The Universal Dimension of Haitian Culture: History and Politics of Memory.” The art exhibition, which runs through March 1, 2018, at the Brooklyn College Library, features works by nine artists whose common tie is their homeland of Haiti.

The reception was highlighted by a lecture titled “The National and International Dimensions of the Haitian Revolution” by noted Professor Pierre Buteau, president of the Haitian Society of History and Geography and former State Secretary of Education in Haiti. Both the lecture and the exhibit commemorate the final conflict of the Haitian Revolution, the Battle of Vertières, which ended with the defeat of Napoleon’s army and independence for Haiti.

“Haiti is more than its poverty and its economic woes,” said Saint Paul, speaking about the country’s 214-year history. “As we commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Vertières, the CUNY Haitian Studies Institute, invites you to rediscover Haiti through the artistic work of its proud filles (daughters) and fils (sons).”

Saint Paul was recently honored by The Haitian Roundtable (HRT) by inclusion on its 1804 List. Named in honor of the year of Haiti’s independence, the list recognizes 24 Haitian-American “changemakers” in the United States whose “deeds and accomplishments have helped create a better understanding of Haiti and the Haitian community.” The HRT is a New York City-based organization of Haitian-American professionals who are dedicated to civic engagement and philanthropic work in support of Haiti and Haitian causes.

“The Universal Dimension of the Haitian Culture: History and Politics of Memory exhibit” lecture and exhibit were made possible by the CUNY Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College, the Toussaint Louverture Cultural Foundation, the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, the Brooklyn College Library, and The Haitian Times.