Donna Karan, Andrew Harrell, Kerry Kennedy and famed shutterbug Marc Baptiste are hosting a gathering entitled The Truth Exhibition at Urban Zen tonight to remind folks not to forget about Haiti and to celebrate the island nation's cultural heritage. Niteside got with the Port au Prince-born photographer Baptiste and asked him to fill us in.
Wanna tell us a bit about the Truth Exhibition? The Truth Cultural Exhibition is a multimedia cultural exhibition. It is a journey through Haiti to uplift and show the strength and resiliency of the Haitian people through photography and film. The Truth is about hope, the truth of courage and commitment and the truth of survival.
What exactly are the "gifts of love" that will be given out? The gifts of love are things we plan to bring to Haiti on Jan. 27, to give to the men, women and children -- shoes, flashlights and whistles to protect the women at night in case anything happens.
How'd it all come about? Haiti has always been close to my heart; it is my life project. I have been working on a book for years documenting the country and the people. When the earthquake hit, all of my Haitian peers and colleagues got together to see how we could collectively lend support. I met Michelle Jean who introduced me to Sonja and Donna Karan and that sparked the beginning of "The Truth."
Word is Wyclef Jean will be debuting a new song tomorrow night too. How did that happen? Yes, he will be performing his new single. Wyclef is a huge supporter of Haiti, Donna Karan and The Truth Cultural Exhibition. I have known him for years through my work as a photographer so we are looking forward to coming together for this event.
We've also learned that Alan Lomax's 1930s films and field recordings will be included in the exhibit. What kind of impact do you think this source material will have on people? I want to thank [Green Family Foundation president] Kimberly Green and [Fast Forward filmmaker] Tatiana Magloire for donating the Alan Lomax's 1930 films to The Truth Multimedia Cultural Exhibition. It's amazing! They will have a very moving historical look at Haiti through music and dance that is rich in culture.
What other bold-faced names are behind the campaign? Maria Bello, Allison Thompson and a few other surprises.