Madjeen Isaac (Flatbush) specializes in oil painting, as she focuses on creating images based on her Haitian American culture. Growing up in a neighborhood where it is predominantly Caribbean immigrants, Isaac allowed her process to give her a sense of purpose from the memories and cultures that have shaped her. She says, “Flatbush is where I have lived most of my life. Flatbush is a place that emits culture and hustle. Overtime, I have developed a concern for immigrant youth and children of immigrants, becoming “Americanized” or assimilated out of fear, without reflecting back on the culture of their ancestors”. Her works are based on celebrating one’s existence and differences while showing patronage to the Haitian culture. Madjeen currently attends the Fashion Institute of Technology, and is expected to receive her BFA in Fine Art, May 2018.
Her Lakou NOU 2018 project, Lakay Nou: Creating Flatbush Island Through Cultural Identity, stems from her last two years at the Fashion Institute of Technology; the recent works she created there are based on Flatbush itself, “…the neighborhood that has shaped me as well as contributed to my Haitian American upbringing.” Throughout her artistic journey, the cultural fusion she’s created with Brooklyn and Haiti landscapes allowed for her to tap into how her Haitian roots are manifested within everyday life in Brooklyn, and how immigrants have rebuilt their lives after settling in Flatbush.
The inherited lifestyle of hustle that Caribbean immigrants seem to withhold reveals their resilience through their long standing businesses such as, their transportation services known as tap-taps, storefront churches and merchants selling herbs in the street imported from the islands. All of which I have incorporated into my paintings. Although I was fully invested in the idea of merging both urban and tropical, my process also allowed for me to compare my younger self and my present self. Breaking barriers of stigmatism I’ve always been taught to believe of the place my parents came from. I realized that during my painting journey, the works I’ve created were deeper than merging two worlds together. It allowed for me to understand why preserving my observations and showcasing my perspective was crucial for me to claim my Haitian American identity.
Her focus as Lakou NOU artist-in-residence working in Flatbush, will be to expand her work by focusing primarily on Haitian youth. She will be facilitating art making workshops with a core group, guiding them to weave in the parts of their culture that are not so obviously relatable nor taught at school. These workshops will cover topics as such, “ how will the youth go about exploring their culture and forming their own identities? ” and “ how can art making be a catalyst in forming narratives about the Flatbush community in the perspective of the youth?”
She hopes to have two public culminating events in October 2018.
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on Thursday, June 28th, 2018 at 4:53 pm and is filed under Archive, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Uncategorized.
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