Exit Laughing: Mirth and Death in 21st Century Haitian Vodou

5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 31, 2018
7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Contact Name:
Frank J. Korom
Gede is the Vodou (aka Voodoo) divinity of death and sexuality. In Haiti, his birthday is celebrated on Halloween, the beginning of a three-day national holiday. As conditions in the country have grown only worse in the new millennium, Gede’s stock as the people’s god continues to rise. Within the culture, Gede is now revered as a divine beggar in a top hat, a flasher, a petty thief, a wise counselor and miraculous physician—and best of all, the brutal enemy of hypocrites and liars. His iconography, especially the jaunty skull with crossbones, is now ubiquitous. His sexuality, of which he was never ashamed, is now explicit, with genitalia grown to Brobdingnagian proportions. For all his Halloween eccentricities, Gede may be the most accurate barometer of an emerging Black Atlantic aesthetic and sensibility.