The Ecology, Cosmos & Consciousness salon presents:
The Serpent’s Two Bodies: Wade Davis, Wes Craven and the Spectacular Ethnobiology of Haitian Zombis
October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AL
Entry £8 /£7 Concessions, Arrive 6pm for a 6:30pm Start - Wine & Beer available
Advance tickets (advised) available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-spectacular-ethnobiology-of-haitian-zombies-tickets-33869251844
In his new book Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie Complex John Cussans traces a history of Haiti through the chimerical optics of voodoo terror and the zombie figure, arguing that the zombie's radically ambivalent modes of being - from docile, remotely-controlled agent-without-autonomy to irrepressible insurrectionary cannibal - have their roots in the plantation slavery system of Saint-Domingue and Euro-American reactions to the Haitian revolution of 1791.
In this talk John will discuss Wade Davis’s best-selling ethnography of the Haitian Zombi The Serpent and the Rainbow from 1985, which tells the story of Davis' discovery of the secrets of zombie making from members of the Bizango secret society, and the book's translation into what has been described as one of the most astonishingly racist and xenophobic films ever to depict Haiti and Vodou, Wes Craven’s film of the same name, released three years later.
Copies of the 'Undead Uprising' will be available for purchase at the event.
John Cussans is an artist and writer based in London. His writing has been published in numerous collections and journals, and he has exhibited widely since his first solo exhibition at the Cabinet gallery in London in 1994. After completing his doctoral thesis on Georges Bataille and the video nasty controversy in 1995, he developed an artistic research practice culminating in a number of collaborative projects including: The Bughouse (a tribute to Philip K. Dick 2000-2003), The Free School in a New Dark Age (2010–2013) and DRUGG (Diagram Research, Use and Generation Group 2012-2016). Since 2009 he has been involved with the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and he is currently working on a Leverhulme–funded research project, The Skullcracker Suite, investigating processes of cultural decolonization in British Columbia. He is a departmental lecturer and MFA course leader at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, and Research Associate in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths.