MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Little Haiti neighborhood makes up one of the most diverse communities in Miami.
Its culture and influence have migrated to South Florida for decades and now it’s on full display during the Haitian Heritage Month Art Exhibition.
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“Noula in Creole means ‘we are here.’”
And Haitian culture, history, and influence are on full display in the design district, at the Noula Exhibition.
It walks us back in time.
“With his timeline, we are able to show all of Haiti’s contributions to the world.”
Many contributions, but few are familiar.
“During the time of the Holocaust, Haiti actually opened their doors to Jewish people helping them escape as it issued visas and passports to Jewish families, helping them escape”.
“500 Haitian troops volunteered themselves to fight in the American revolution. In Savanah, there’s actually a statue of Haitian troops.”
“This boy here is actually Henri Cristophe, who actually became the first emperor of northern Haiti.”
Quite often, we see haunting depictions of Haiti such as earthquakes, political strife and violence.
Noula’s curator, Yvena Despagne, challenged artists from different generations to represent Haiti’s natural resources and natural beauty.
“We have so many current artists that are doing contemporary works, conceptual work, work in film, sculptures.”
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“This is a mural of Viter Juste and his wife Marie Juste. They’re no longer with us, but Viter was actually the founder of Little Haiti, in Miami.
Other influences in the gallery, Haiti being the first Black republic, and its slave and humanitarian revolutions.
It’s spirituality, including voodoo.
A rich history is celebrated every day.
Ruth Burotte Tamfee is an illustrator.
“This one here is called transmission stable.”
Her inspiration is her grandmother in the aftermath of an earthquake.
“My grandmother bought a radio because not a lot of communication was happening where we were trying to figure out where our family members are and just trying to hear back”
Noula co-founder Bacheler Jean Pierre came to the states when he was 17 and believes it’s important to inform and educate about the Haitian impact on South Florida.
“Expose fashion, art, food, culture, music all under the same umbrella with the big idea, goal to create change in our community,” said Jean Pierre.
And everyone has a story to tell.
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“And she kind of represents that. Like you’re visiting a hometown friend that you kind of miss, but don’t actually talk to, but you’re happy to reconnect with again.”