LEST WE FORGET
This third edition of Lest We Forget was developed by the duo Marvin Fabien (Dominica/Martinique) and Nyugen E. Smith (USA/Trinidad/Haiti) for the International Festival of Performance Art (FIAP ‘19) in Martinique. This performance was a reflection on the consequences of climate change, the economic, ecological and social effects of these disasters and with sensitivity and managed care, incorporated local signifiers which resonated with the witnesses who attended.
For this performance, a third collaborator was included. Knowing that a significant percentage of the attendees of the performance do not speak english, the decision was made to have Smith’s speech audibly translated during the performance for maximum reach and impact. The translation was completed by the Martinican Creole language specialist, Brigitte Victoire and performed by Youly Agosta (Martinique) who played the role of the interlocutor between the physical and spiritual worlds during the performance. Local artist, Marc Marie-Joseph was invited to perform a smoke purifying ceremony at the beginning of the performance. Rum barrels from the existing sugar plantations were used as a lectern from which Nyugen delivered the speech. These elements of the performance were important to emphasize the linkage which exists between the spoken word, ritual, the culture of Martinique, and the Caribbean at-large. Together, these elements and details created an atmosphere in which the performance addressed the matter of climate change folklore, history and language in a Caribbean/Martinican context.
The speech composed by Nyugen contained less sourced texts from news and interviews and contained mostly original poetry. It was a stark warning of the “Big Storm” to come and urged people of the country and of the region to come together to begin preparation.
The electronic soundscape composed by Marvin Fabien was inspired by Haitian rhythms
and created an atmosphere of community through its transferred energy, commemorating our African heritage.