Co-published by Inventory Press and Zachęta National Gallery of Art, this book catalogues C. T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska’s staging of Halka, considered to be Poland’s “national opera,” in Cazale, Haiti, a village inhabited by the descendants of Polish soldiers who fought for the Haitian Revolution in the early 1800s. Jasper and Malinowska filmed the event in one take to be presented later as a large-scale projected panorama in the Polish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.
This volume provides both a multifaceted conceptual framework for the project and a detailed record of this remarkable endeavor. With an introduction by curator Magdalena Moskalewicz and an interview with the artists, the book also features three newly commissioned essays—from literary scholar Katarzyna Czeczot, diplomat Géri Benoît, and anthropologist Kacper Pobłocki—alongside Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s seminal reflection on the global silencing of the Haitian Revolution. Also included are questionnaires completed by the project’s Haitian and Polish participants, translated selections from the opera’s libretto, extensive photographic documentation of the rehearsals, and stills from the film itself.