Today, T. and I explored the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau to check out the exhibit on Haitian vodou.
The exhibit consisted of a collection from a Swiss woman who became a Haitian citizen and collected the pieces out of respect and admiration for Vodou practices. While I questioned the implications of this ownership, the exhibit itself was written and presented extremely tastefully, with brutal honesty in regards to the behaviour and impact of colonizers.
One of my favourite quotes, describing one of the sculptures from the exhibit, states:
This sculpture depicts a man behind a person who has been transformed into a zombie. According to popular belief, to turn people into zombies, one of their souls must be captured. Zombies are aware of what is happening to them but have no will of their own, so they cannot react. Their masters can therefore do whatever they want with them. Zombification is the supreme punishment because it reduces people to the condition that Vodou was used to counter: slavery.
We also had a great picnic lunch outside – check out our view of the Parliament buildings and Chateau Laurier!