Gran Bwa

Primary tabs

This block was created to represent the environmental turmoil experienced by Haiti since the introduction of sugarcane to the island over 400 years ago. The images in this block are layered in resin, with some images appearing farther from the viewer than others. The layers progress in relation to time, representing different stages of the Haitian environment. The bottom layer of the block is adorned with flowers, referencing the botanical beauty that could be witnessed on the island of Hispaniola before the plantation system took root. Introduction of sugarcane to the island is represented by the Gran Bwa veve, a religious symbol representing the loa Gran Bwa, a Vodou loa responsible for the health of herbs, trees, and other inhabitants of the land. In this block, the artists have chosen to include the Gran Bwa veve to represent an opposing force to the influx of sugarcane. After introducing the two opposing forces, the artists added images of malignant bacteria on the bottom left to symbolize the destruction that sugarcane caused on the island. The bacteria also represents the infectious nature of both sugarcane and plantation slavery, calling attention to how both quickly overtook the island and its people.