In collaboration with Chicago Cultural Alliance, the exhibit Chicago’s Families: Community as Family narrated the evolution of disparate immigrant communities that blossomed in Chicago’s diverse cultural landscape. By evaluating Haiti’s past and present histories through an eclectic range of media, this exhibit examined the families we create through shared interest and activities including social clubs, festivals and celebrations away from our native lands.
In partnership the Dank Haus German American Cultural Center, the exhibit used a hybrid of art and culture from Haiti and Germany to demonstrate how the meaning of family applies to more than the nuclear one. Starting from paintings that visualized Haiti’s colonial heritage, the exhibit showcased tokens from the collections of the Haitian American Museum of Chicago and Dank Haus German American Cultural Center to present the people of these countries as nurturing and full of hope. It urged audience members to embrace the celebratory practices that have triumphed over time, in order to further understand strategies of assimilation used by Haitian and German communities in Chicago. Using art and ephemera produced in Haiti, Germany, and the United States, larger connections were made across geographical boundaries, mediums, and time periods.
Jeanette Alfred (and students)
Jean Yves Hector