Like his visual art, Paul’s personal writings were layered with emotion and often deeply reflective. As the team builds Paul's archives, these writings have offered us a window into his thoughts, meditations, and processes. Below is an excerpt from the artist's journal on Diaspora.
"In our world, where media has become reality, the daily display of atrocity, hardships and loss could be dismissed as the stuff of everyday politics. Migrations follow in the wake of these often horrific events and new communities spring up here and there. One might as well declare diaspora to be a political term, because so much of it, of the process, is tied to politics.
It is a unique condition that brings with it a sense of fragmentation, of restlessness and longing so intense and so diverse that these symptoms can be said to be major traits of the post modern world.
One could argue that the last century was already filled with alienation. This is different.
There are no existentialists in the mountains of Haiti.
Between 1957 and the present day tens of thousands of Haitians have left their country, legally and illegally, to resettle in cities like Miami, New York, LA, Boston, Canada etc. The plight of the Haitians is compounded by the fact that the Haitian nation is already a Diaspora, having been brought over to the West Indies by the slave trade. The Haitian soil, independent, poor and desperate as it may be, is hallowed ground for the people of its country.
Leaving home, stepping outside the fold of the community, is considered shameful, embarrassing. The reason for that is historical. This nation is made up of many different African groups, who united by slavery, had to subsume their own identity to win their freedom in battle and become Haitians. For a good part of the 19th century, being Haitian meant being a free black person. And yet the survival of this nation, its rebirth, depends on going through the moral ordeal of immigration."
- Paul Gardere, undated