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Jean-Daniel Lafontant: Vodou, Drumming, and Rara

Renowned houngan (vodou priest) Jean-Daniel Lafontant organized one of the premiere parties of the Ghetto Biennale at the temple Nah-Ri-Veh: an epic night of vodou drumming followed by rara from Forever Rara Fanm, one of Haiti's only all-female rara troupes. In this conversation with the Radyo Shak team, Lafontant discusses rara and drumming's deep relationship to vodou, including its origins in pre-Columbian Hispaniola; the organization of the lakou; the spiritual power of the drum; his own origins as a vodou priest; and his reasons for sharing this experience with the Biennale visitors.

Including live recordings from the peristil (temple) Nah-Ri-Veh of Forever Rara Fanm and the drumming troupe.


Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak


Radyo Shak was the independent broadcast voice of the Ghetto Biennale lakou 2015. Based in a shack in the Grand Rue Atis-Resistans compound of Port-au-Prince, Clocktower Radio's Radyo Shak broadcast Haiti's biennale happenings, from December 10-21, 2015. Radyo Shak Program Director Richard Fleming and Radyo Shak Project Director Jake Nussbaum hosted freeform radio in the bidonville, including Rara bands, interviews with locals, artists and writers, project updates, and Haitian revolutionary history over FM radio, Internet radio, and analog broadcast amplified through speakers and PA. The Kreyòl language programming from the Radyo Shak is available here: Geto Byenal: Radyo Shak (Kreyòl) In addition to the recordings archived here that were collected onsite during the biennale, Clocktower's Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak series includes additional material gathered from Haitian musicians, DJ sets, record labels, expats, artists, and more, to give our listeners a complete audio landscape of Haiti in the world today.