J’ouvert, which began as a street party during Carnival in post-emancipation French colonies in the Caribbean, has become an integral part of Afro-Caribbean diaspora communities in Brooklyn and beyond. Yardy NYC, RAGGA NYC, and CONNEK have teamed up to bring a slice of J’ouvert to MOFAD, celebrating Afro-Caribbean food and culture at the intersection of tourism, gender, queerness, and the economic landscape of agriculture and cuisine in the Caribbean, NYC, and beyond.
The evening will feature food and drinks by Yardy NYC, music curated by the RAGGA NYC, and a panel discussion moderated by food writer, Korsha Wilson, featuring DeVonn Francis (Yardy NYC Founder), Christopher Udemezue (RAGGA NYC Founder, CONNEK Co-founder) and Chantel Chaday Emmanuel (CONNEK Co-founder, joining us from Kingston, Jamaica).
This event also celebrates the launch of CONNEK’s April 2020 trip. Attendees will hear about the project, how to become a part of CONNEK, and even receive a special MOFAD discount.
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Last call at 8:30 pm. Tickets include admission to the program, 2 drink tickets, and bites provided by Yardy. We cannot accommodate dietary restrictions or allergies.
CHANTEL CHADAY EMMANUEL
Born and living in Kingston Jamaica, founder of Jamsterdam, Tribe876, and Tribe Tours, Chaday has had over ten different events under three major brands including two queer events in Jamaica. A young entrepreneur majoring in Digital Media Production, she has designed both websites and apps for many big Jamaican companies. At the beginning of 2018, Chaday opened Tribe876 as a bar/lounge for artists, liberals, queers, and persons with open minds in Kingston, Jamaica.
CONNEK is a travel project & platform dedicated to connecting queer folks and allies across country borders through online media, story telling, and events specifically in Jamaica. Founders of the platform Christopher Udemezue (RAGGA NYC) and Chaday Emmanuel (Jamsterdam) are dedicated to spotlighting the amazing queer talent in Jamaica who are rewriting the story of Jamaica’s relationship to queerness. With the power of travel and in person gatherings, CONNEK works to build community by hosting inclusive events in Jamaica throughout the year. The main event is the CONNEK annual extended weekend filled with exclusive excursions, dinners and social gatherings happening again in April 2020 where foreigners and queer Jamaican locals get to spend time together to build bonds in Jamaica. Join us and learn more at connekja.com
DeVonn is a queer, first-generation jamaican-american artist with a background in design and performance studies. He founded Yardy in fall 2017 as a way to investigate his own role in Caribbean culture and to encourage others to seek joy and celebration in their own identities. Since then, Yardy has gone on to create brand campaigns, develop activations, and redefine and reaffirm the importance of food and culture.
Yardy is in the works to launch a flagship studio space in Brooklyn this coming spring with an emphasis on food & beverage programming.
Born in Long Island, NY Christopher Udemezue has shown at a variety of galleries and museums, including the New Museum, Queens Museum of Art, PS1 MoMa, Bruce High Quality Foundation, and Envoy Enterprises. Udemezue recently has utilized his Jamaican heritage and the complexities of desire for connection, tragedy through personal mythology and public lynching as a primary source. As the founder of the platform RAGGA NYC, he completed a residency with the New Museum "All The Threatened And Delicious Things Joining One Another" this past June 2017. Also being the lead organizing member in the art collective House of Ladosha, Christopher has shown recently in the New Museum’s “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” 40 year anniversary show.
RAGGA NYC is a hybrid of ideas that began as late night conversations over familial island roots, current social politics, empanadas vs. beef patties, pum pum shorts, scamming, and a longing for a party that provides a space for queer Caribbeans and their kin. A platform founded by Christopher Udemezue (Neon Christina), RAGGA NYC connects a growing network of queer Caribbean artists and allies working across a wide range of disciplines—including visual art, fashion, poetry and more—to explore how race, sexuality, gender, heritage, and history inform their work and their lives. RAGGA fosters an extended family that makes space for solidarity, celebration, and expression, with deep commitments to education and grassroots organizing.
Korsha Wilson is a food writer based in the New York City area that has been published by the New York Times, Eater, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, she is always experimenting in her kitchen and always on the hunt for her next great restaurant meal. She hosts A Hungry Society, a podcast dedicated to creating a more inclusive food world.