Famn d’Ayiti. Haitian Women’s Music in Diaspora
Keywords:Haitian Music, Martha Jean-Claude, Toto Bissainthe, Mélissa Laveaux, Nathalie Joachim
Music has always been one of the most prolific means of intercultural understanding. In the diasporic context, it also allows for the construction and reinforcement of a social and identity space where any immigrant can easily (re)find the connections with his/her native country. This article observes the connecting role of Haitian music between Haitians “inside” (in Haiti) and “outside” (in the diaspora), but also between the diasporic community and the host country (France, the United States and Canada), through the study of the artistic paths of Martha Jean-Claude, Toto Bissainthe, Mélissa Laveaux and Nathalie Joachim. For these singers of Haitian origin, music proves to be a resource of militancy, of identity and collective resistance against the demonization of Haiti, but also a form of dialogue with other cultures of the American continent. The analysis of the various effects of musical hybridization brought to the traditional repertoire, which allowed them to reach an international audience, demonstrates their capacity to adapt to the different contexts of dissemination, but also to establish unprecedented cross-cultural points of convergence.
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