Category Archives: Events

The Diaspora Travels: Haiti goes Video Installation, In Solidarity Show at ASpace

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.53.44 PMIn my quest of practicing intentional vulnerability, critical honesty but at the same time imaginative optimism, here is another #journalsofadocuvixen

I know it has been a minute journal fans but it still has up and down emotionally but to be honest I will take where I am now over to where I was last year any day of the week. Taking note of blessings and having gratitude for each day.   Ya I know never got to those 18519499_10158987847220508_3494607541151414472_nsecond reflections, I have them written in a journal on paper tho, will eventually share.

Anyway in the depths of winter, where I was on the usually thinking pattern on what am I going to do for money, and getting another rejection from one of the Arts Councils, got granted a grant, only to be like sorry nope you don’t got it no more. And again contemplating giving up this whole damn art thing for good. I just want to work at a small bookstore kinda thing (ya the 2 of them),  began applying for every job out there but haven’t yet received a call back, as yet.  Actually this week I was like maybe I should be a postal worker, you know get to walk everywhere, although I don’t think I could do the winters.

Things started to thaw, and Vicky Moufawad-Paul – Director / Curator director of A Space Gallery, contacted me saying that she wanted to program my work in Haiti some how, and the makings of this show began to take form, I met with Rehab around her work, and here we are the Opening is here, at A Space Gallery.

Flip Malinda Francis Sa-k-la-k-Wel Crew February March 2015, Oban, Jacmel Haiti

Malinda Francis, Sa-k-la-k-Wel Crew, Oban, Jacmel Haiti, video still, 2015

In Solidarity

Malinda Francis, Rehab Nazzal
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 110 (Gallery is on the First floor)

Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8 Canada
(Spadina and Richmond)

Tel: 416.979.9633
Fax: 416.979.9683


Exhibition runs May 26 2017 – July 8 2017
Opening: May 26 2017: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Presented by A Space Gallery in partnership with Trinity Square Video
Facebook Event

Tuesday to Friday 11am – 5pm
Saturday 12pm – 5pm

In Solidarity is a two-person exhibition that features collaborative projects from Malinda Francis and Rehab Nazzal. Francis is a video artist that spent time in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010. She captured a grassroots international and multilingual community moving off the grid and building an “Earthship.” Using recycled materials to rebuild the community school of “Sa-k-la-k-wel”–which translates into “If you survive it, you will see it.”–and set in a picturesque but economically depressed location, the conical structure of the Earthship evokes spaceships that plan to leave earth for a more just future that we create and imagine together. Francis also includes video of Jane Finch Action Against Poverty as she follows them into the 2017 May Day march, an action which seek greater justice right where we are.

Malinda Francis Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, May Day 2017 Toronto

Malinda Francis, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, Toronto, video still, May 1st 201718489730_1986250904944816_3781377437509583106_o

Nazzal‘s is a community engaged project of “Cross Stitching Solidarity” using Palestinian embroidery techniques to bring people together at the gallery to make something that is larger then the sum of its parts. Francis and Nazzal, although using disparate visual strategies, both propose a kind of transnational solidarity that implicates, resists, and creates new possibilities for Mikinaakominis/Canada.
Facebook Page


Malinda Francis (a docuvixen film) is a Toronto based videomaker. Francis’ creation is based in an integrated consent driven process throughout the production period. Her immersed/imbeded community led process includes shared partnership/ownership models with the community members she documents. Malinda Francis has been following Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP), a resident led action group which aims to eliminate poverty, for 9 years. She conceptualizes her work with JFAAP as an ongoing community story-telling project. She has been in production of her feature film called The Diaspora Travels: Haiti for 6 years. This project follows Haitian and diaspora led reconstruction projects after the 2010 Earthquake.

 Rehab Nazzal is a Palestinian-born multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Nazzal holds an MFA from Ryerson University (Toronto), a BFA from the University of Ottawa, and a BA in Economics from Damascus University (Syria). Her video, photography, and sound work deal with representation of violence of war and colonialism. Nazzal’s work has been shown in Canada and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions and screenings. Nazzal is currently pursuing her PhD in Art and Visual Culture at the University of Western Ontario (Canada).

Due to the fact that of the ongoing nature of my work, been following JFAAP, (Facebook Page) , Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) for 9 years, and (Facebook Page) The Diaspora Travels: Haiti Haitians to Haiti for 6 years now . This is my first opportunity to but it all in one show.

I am slowly defining my process as follows:Ongoing community engagement using film, radio, and media production, imbedded community storytelling. Working to create an integrated consent process throughout the production process, and build community partnership/ownership models with  community members.  She feels the only way she can tell a story from the point of view of marginalized communities is to immerse oneself in a community, and have shared partnership throughout the production process.  This process continues to develop as the work continues. Make sure you follow my ongoing thinking around this at (Facebook Page) a docuvixen film

Please pass through the Gallery if you can!!! More Info Email me at

Design by Eddy Daoriginalone

For Immediate Release: The Diaspora Travels: Haiti 2nd Trip

Friday, February 13th, 2015 10988922_10155429943450508_6599895556067902582_n

Diaspora Travels returns to Haiti four years later. It has been a journey being able to return to Haiti for the second time. Our first trip was in February 2011, and now we are back doing follow up interviews in Port au Prince, as well spending most of our time in Jacmel following the Earthship inspired build Community Centre, Amphitheatre and School build called Sa-k-la-ka-wel, in the Oban, community, in Jacmel Haiti.


Production in 2011


Our first trip was a year after the Earthquake February 2011 in Port au Prince where Malinda Francis, Oja James Vincent and Michel Dessources Jr from New York touch down in Haiti to interview Haitians affected by the Earthquake in the Displacement Camps, also stayed in the communities of Fonds Parisien and Leoguane.


Collaborative Project

Diaspora Travels is a collaborative project between a docuvixen film 1553461_10151884571253595_1466806675_o (Malinda Francis), Alliance of Conscious Documentarians (ACD Media) (Oja Vincent), and Anacoana Motion Pictures (Michel Dessources Jr). The aim of this feature documentary film and digital interactive project is to explore Haitian and Haitian Diasporic reconstruction projects after the Earthquake (January 12th, 2010), to counter the mainstream media portrayal of Haiti which often leaves out the local story and omits the rebuilding efforts of Haitians doing themselves to rebuild.


210337_10150162347379791_4853628_oAnacaona Motion Pictures

Organizations during the first Trip


We interviewed organizations with Foundation Maurice Sixto, Institute of Justice and Democracy In Haiti, Mario Joseph. Marita Marisine who arrived shortly after the Earthquake and quickly brought Earthship Biotecture crew to Haiti where 30 Haitian interns where trained through survival model to Haiti.  Interns who got trained in the Earthship Build, such as Vladimir who has gone on to do numerous of other builds since then. Gary Pierre Charles a Mexican- Haitian Architect has also  built Earthship techniques in his work. Bayina Bello a Haitian Historian whose focus is Women’s role in the Revolution.   Jacques Roc who trains film Technicians in Port au Prince, and for 8 months provided projection screens to the Displacement Camps to inform residents of Cholera Prevention, his main goal was “We are shooting for Hope.” and lastly we documented many musicians including Wanito. The film asks the question of How do you rebuild when 300, 000 people die in a moment, it is a film on Haitian Resilience.

Pre-Screenings, ArtShows and Talk Backs


April 2012, we had an event called Diner en Noir at the Foundary in Toronto, a photo exhibit of Michel Dessources Jr Photography, which focuses on images that are not often seen in the mainstream media, alongside a Caribbean Diner created by Emile Francis and a live Painting by Ilene Sova of Seraphine Legend a grandmother we interviewed in Carrefour, Port au Prince, who was trapped under the rubble and survived, although she lost a leg, you wouldn’t know it when you first meet her.

We would like to give a special thanks to Tracey Hayes Positive Vibez (MindSpace) Event Coordination and Gold Coast Godess on the decor who collaborated on this event. Thanks to the Movement Project for their collaborative donation which allowed us to get the Foundary to hang the photography show.

The various pre-screenings has happened throughout the years May 2011 at Walnut Studios we did our talk back after we returned, which sky386794_10151985846045508_2139922656_nped in the crew, along with Ezili Danto who runs Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, a preview was screened at at Harbourfront Centre which show alongside as well as Guetty Felin’s Broken Stones which was Caribbean Tales Toronto Showcase 2012’s Haiti’s Spotlight. The Diaspora Travels: Haiti also participated in Caribbean Tales Incubator 2011.

Expanded Team

Four years later the team has expanded, Shana McCalla has come on as co-producer (Salem Script Productions), Vanissa Chan who is also part of ACD, has joined the Production Office as well as Photography and Illustration. as well as Justin Trencio on social media. Marco a filmmaker and a graduate of Cine Institute (film school) here in Jacmel, as 2nd Camera here in Jacmel. This trip we will continue to map various reconstruction efforts on the ground level though the development of this interactive digital project.

Towards our second production trip.



On January 29th, 2014 we began our second journey back to Haiti with screenings, talks and fundraisers in Toronto at Unit 2 (thank you to Nicholas Murr and Rosina Kasi for the space), and The firm grape who was as sponsor (a Toronto locally owned winery) and of course to Roots Reggae Hub for their online promotions. Then we were off to Brooklyn Bed-vyne Brew (a Black owned Local Bar) on February 3rd,We would like to thank everyone who has touch this project which brings to life a Haitian saying “Men anvil chat pa lou”. (Many hands make the load lighter.)We were sent off right although itw was difficult with many technical difficulties that you can think of, we made it to Jacmel in the evening on February 4th.

Recent History and Context

Unfortunately the UN Occupation of Haiti has made things very difficult for the people living there. It is a challenge for them to have access to electricity, food, transportation, proper sanitation, & clean water. The occupation has been ongoing since before the 2010 earthquake. Upon exiling the first democratically-elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 (of which the US and Canada government played a central part), the United Nations sent in UN troops to occupy the people of Haiti. Since, they have been responsible for contaminating the water with cholera (resulting in 9,000+ deaths), evicting Haitians from their homes and land and adding to the displacement crisis, implicated in crimes against humanity including kidnapping and rape of Haitian youth, amongst other things. The majority of the 13 billion dollars of foreign aid has been evaporated by the non-profit industrial complex and the Haitian government run by Haitian elitists. This is how Haiti has become known as “the Nation of NGOs.”

Sustainable Living Model

This makes the the movement for sustainable living ever more urgent, they say here in Haiti, Haitians pay to be in darkness, the average being 5 hours of power a day or every other day for the average Haitian, which makes solar energy crucial to be made accessible to Haitians. This is movement towards Environmental Justice, and counters directly to Disaster Capitalism ( illustrated by author Naomi Klein) this is on the ground level. Earthship Biotecture Humanitarian builds words through participatory construction gives training directly to Haitians, and breaks any notions of who can build. “The Nations of NGOs” we have seen the disappearance of Aid money and international donations, the Earthquake in January 12, 2010 was historical in that it was the biggest given internationally to and disaster. So all the grassroots organizations we work with there is no salaries given to Foreign Workers, that is to counter this corruption. All money is spent locally, all resources are brought directly to the ground in Haiti, foreign participation is all through paid volunteer positions, which is then funnelled back to the local economy.

Organizations We Support 


Diaspora Travels returned to Haiti February 4th, settled in Jamel, and will follow up interviews in Port au Prince from Feb 16-21st, and the crew will stay until the end of this stage of the build at Sa-k-la-ka-wel till April 2015. The build in the Oban community Jacmel is the collaboration with IndyConvergenceHaiti, Sa-k-la-ka-wel and Ayiti Ini/ Haiti Uni/ United Haiti which skill and resources resources maps across the island (“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” LW), along with the support from the Earthship Biotecture.

Sa-k-la-ka-wel which lost their rented space a couple of years ago is a space where collaborations between Haitian artists and International Artists, along English and Music Classes, along with a Football (Soccer Team) and a dojo. Dieudonne Cyprien a Haitian and the Executive Director of the school has donated his families’ land, and Robert Negron who is the International Liaison for Artist Collaborations with the loss of the former rented space it is crucial to make it happen so that classes and collaborations can start again. In Feb-March of 2014 the crew laid the foundation down, and this year is the second stage of the build where the Amphitheatre, Seating as well as a class room will be constructed.

Diaspora Travels aim is to completed run on Diasporic Networks, we stay within the community, travel on local transport such as Tap Taps, and spends a much as we physically can to spend the money locally to support the local economy, so we focus on projects that do the same throughout the island. 10562671_872536669472796_4348924777281201902_o  


Please Join Us on this Journey

ttp://, on Twitter @Diaspora2Haiti and Instagram @thediasporatravels, Facebook: The Diaspora Travels: Haiti connect directly to the project at Also, this project is all self-financed through the crew and don’t receive any funding, so we are asking for our audience’s support.

We Need your Support

Please give to the project Go Fund Me, which gives directly to our efforts here in Haiti, to pay local technicians, and for the team’s contribution to the Build of Sa-k-la-k-wel (Go Fund Me ), as well the overall project (Indiegogo), which will go to the production of the film and digital project, as well as support for our City to City talk backs after the project. Here is the teams pitch for your support:

For media inquiries please contact: Shana McCalla at,

Projects We Support on the Ground

Mesi Anpil (Thank you very Much)

Malinda Francis (a docuvixen film) Twitter @docuvixen Diaspora Travels, (migrations stories of the Black, Caribbean and African Diaspora) Twitter: @Diaspora2Haiti Facebook: The Diaspora Travels: Haiti

Dessalines Viv, Marie-Jeanne Viv