Today we remember all of those who were lost to us in the earthquake of 2010. It is hard to think or write about the losses that were closest to our hearts and souls.
Like many organizations in Haiti, Jakmel Ekspresyon was born out of this tragedy. The earthquake took the life of our dear friend and inspiration, Flo McGarrell. Flo was a transgendered queer artist that lived in Jacmel, Haiti. He was the Director of an art center called, FOSAJ. When he realized how harsh the prejudices of Haitian culture could be for marginalized people, he actively promoted FOSAJ as a safe space for these people. As a queer artist and a forward thinker, Flo saw the value in diversity and each individual’s voice. He believed that everyone should have the chance to express themselves. He motivated the creation of the first queer friendly dance group Gran LAKOU. Gran LAKOU is still working and performing in Jacmel.
In Flo’s absence, several Haitian artists and the Director, Sue Frame decided that a new space dedicated to non-discrimination should be created. This was in May 2010. Since then JE has continued to cherish and serve Flo’s vision. There is an altar space dedicated to Flo so that all the young people who come to JE will know him and the difference he is still making in Jacmel.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us to continue Flo’s vision. We are grateful and look forward to your continued support. If you feel so moved visit our donation page and send a note with your donation. We will post it on the website for you.