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Leah Gordon

Réalisateur/trice, Photographe


Leah Gordon, photographe et vidéaste britannique, concentre une grande partie de son travail sur les rites vaudous depuis son premier voyage en Haïti en 1991. Sur place, elle découvre le Carnaval de Jacmel, fête pendant laquelle les hommes déguisés en femmes ou créatures hybrides envahissent les rues de cette petite ville côtière, jouent un théâtre de l’absurde et content des histoires mythologiques et politiques. Dans cette frénésie, les fondements de la culture créole embrasent aussi bien leurs origines empruntes au carnaval médiéval européen qu’au vaudou clandestin. Diplômée du Polytechnic of Central London et récemment titulaire d’un MA en Photographic Studies, Leah Gordon a dédié ses premiers travaux à la société de classes britannique et aux post-colonial studies questionnant les notions de « genres », « classe » et « races ». Elle travaille en parallèle avec des associations caritives, la télévision, des revues d’art spécialisées et enseigne au College of Creative Arts. Elle aide aussi à la promotion des artistes haïtiens de Grand Rue et est l’auteur de The Book of Vodou, Charms and Rituals to Empower your Life (Quarto Books, London, 2000). Certains de ses clichés ont été exposés dans le cadre de l’exposition Kreyol Factory à la Villette et à la Galerie 64bis (Paris).

Source :
Le blog de la société française de photographie


MA in Photographic Studies from University of Westminster 2004-2006
Post Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism from London College of Printing 1991-1992
BA Hons in Film & Photographic Arts from Polytechnic of Central London 1980-1983


Leah Gordon worked as a freelance photographer for film, theatre and magazines and was lyricist and singer for London-based punk folk band, The Doonicans. She visited Haiti for the first time in 1991, and has continued the relationship ever since.


June 2008 – completed edit of’Atis-Rezistans: the Sculptors of Grand Rue’.
November 2007 – started to shoot documentary on the Grand Rue sculptors in Haiti.
August 2007 – curated relational show ?Heaven in a Box’ at Greenbelt Arts Festival.
March 2007 – exhibited collaborative work with Marg Duston, ?Museum of Collaboration’ at Four Corners Film, London.
November 2006 – wrote and photographed article for ?Dazed & Confused’ and did photographic commission for Independent Magazine on the Haitian sculpture commission.
2006-2007 – free-lance curator in Haiti for the International Museum of Slavery, Liverpool to identify Haitian artists for sculpture commission to be shown as a permanent exhibit from August 2007.
2006 – exhibited ?Hierophany’, a sculptural photographic lightbox installation on the nature of the divine through the eyes of atheists in the Bargehouse, London.
2006 – shot & directed ?We’re All in the Gutter?’, a psycho-geographical video installation about experiences of homophobia in London shown in Paris, Budapest & Seoul.
2005 – shot, wrote and directed ?The Thames’, film essay on the slave trade.
2003- ongoing – sessional tutor at University College for the Creative Arts for module on ?fact-based experimental video’ on BA in Digital Screen Arts & practice tutor for all years.
March 2003 – photographic commission for USPG in Brazil.
February 2003 – directed and shot documentary pilot on cross-dressing within Vodou.
January 2003 – exhibited ?Ghost Train’, photography exhibition at Wiebke Morgan Gallery.
September 2002 – photographic commission for USPG in Zanzibar.
April 2002 – researching for book of photographs and oral histories of Kanaval in Jacmel.
September 2001 – photographed Haitian ?Day of the Dead’ celebrations as a commission for Front Magazine.
July 2001 – taught photographic portraiture as a therapeutic activity course at St. Martin of Tours residential hostel for mentally disordered offenders.
June 2001 – photographic commission to illustrate Christian Aid’s international fair trade campaign.
February 2001 – coordinated and documented a trades union delegation to investigate working conditions on Haitian orange plantations with the GMB and War on Want.
2000- ongoing – regular film & photographic commissions for USPG in Tanzania, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Myanmar, Chile, Brazil, India, Swaziland, Mozambique & Bangladesh.
October 2000 – co-curated ?Catching the Spirit’, exhibition at October Gallery and organised a day of film and talks exploring Haitian art and its symbiotic relationship with Vodou.
September 2000 – running picture desk and compiling digital database for UK based aid-agency.
August 2000 – produced and co-directed film-essay, ?Lineaments of the Lwa’, with Ophandrift Collective, exploring link between art and Vodou in Haiti.
February 2000 – May 00 – taught digital photography, photojournalism, story board and lesbian and gay representation at Gay & Lesbian Arts & Media in Brighton.
October 1999 – Feb 00 – wrote ?The Book of Vodou’, a book on Vodou & Art for Quarto Publications.
July 1999 – commission for the Times Magazine Millennium Supplement.
March 1999 – worked on Christian Aid’s millennial poster campaign in India.
March 1998 – October 1998 – researched and wrote the Lonely Planet Guide to Haiti.
February 1998 – photographic commission for the Times Magazine on Vodou.
January 1998 – worked as a photographer for ?Save the Children’ and’Antislavery International’ in both Jamaica and Haiti.
March – November 1997 – co-produced and directed ?Pig’s Tale’ (documentary which linked Vodou, pigs and politics) for Channel 4 which was broadcast in October 1997 as part of the Baa Baa Zee season.
October 1996 – photograph included in the John Kobal award at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
April 1996 – curated the exhibition ?Sacred Voodoo Flags of Haiti’ at the October Gallery.
Dec 1995 – worked in Rwanda and Zaire for Cafod documenting the aftermath of the genocide and life in the refugee camps.
May 1995 – curated and exhibited in ?Haiti: Photos, Paintings and Ironworks’ at the October Gallery, London, WC1.
March 1995 – photographic commission on Haiti during the coup for the Guardian magazine.
August 1994 – photographer for the Amnesty International Report on Haiti.


Atis-Rezistans: the Sculptors of Grand Rue; Leah Gordon 2008
DV 34 mins film essay documenting a collective of slum based Vodou artists in Port au Prince, Haiti and a meditation on the links between sex, death and creativity.
Screenings and Festivals
2008 June Caribbean Studies Conference, Edinburgh University
2008 July Horse Hospital, London
2008 Oct University of Maine, USA
2008 Nov Jacmel Film Festival, Haiti
2009’In Extremis, UCLA, Los Angeles

The Thames; Leah Gordon 2005
DV 14 mins Peotic film-essay exploring the mythology of rivers and the link between the Thames and the slave trade
Screenings and Festivals
2005 Zanzibar International Film Festival
2005 Jacmel International Film Festival

Lineaments of the Lwa; Leah Gordon, Ranu Mukherjee, Maggie Roberts 2000
DV 30 Minutes Film Essay exploring the Vodou spirits in Haitian life, art and culture
Orphan drift studios
Produced by the Haiti Support Group
Screenings and Festivals
Sept 2000’Feels Like Vodou Spirit’- Exhibition of Haitian Art
Seminar – Contextualizing Haitian Art, October Gallery London
July 2001 Seminar on Haiti, Caribbean Week for Black History Month
Department of Caribbean Studies, Goldsmiths College, London
March 2002’Ladies of the Lwa’, exhibition of Vodou art, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
April 2002 Haitian Arts Festival. Illinois
May 2002 Haitian Film Festival, Haitian Cultural Month, Miami
June 2007 – Ritual: Late at the V&A, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, London

A Pig’s Tale‘ Leah Gordon, Anne Parisio 1997
Beta, 52mins – documentary linking pigs, Vodou and US economic imperialism
A Parisio Production for Channel 4 TV in association with Arte/ Crowing Rooster Arts Inc./ Dominant 7
23rd Oct 1997 Channel 4 TV
Nov 1997 Arte France
Dec 1998 Free Speech TV, PBS, USA as part of Just Solutions Series commemorating 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Screenings and Festivals
Best Documentary – UK Environmental Media Awards – March 1998
Berlin Black Film Festival – commended – 1998
Montreal Film Festival – jury’s special mention – May 1998
Tampere Film Festival – March 1999

Photography exhibitions
Riflemaker, Soho, London 2009
Parc de la Vilette, Paris 2009
Kanaval, Institut Français, Port au Prince, Haiti 2008
Kanaval, Alliance Française, Jacmel, Haiti 2008
Sacred, Novas Gallery, London 2008
Vodou Rezistans, Foundry, London 2007
East London Artists Arrival Exhibition, Foundry, London 2007
Museum of Collaboration, Four Corners, London 2007
Jacmel: Today & Yesterday, FOSAJ Gallery, Haiti 2006
Scenes: MA Degree show, Bargehouse, London 2006
We’re all in the Gutter, Capitales Inconnues, FIAP Paris, Megnyita Budapest & Seoul 2006/2007
Arte Naif Brasil Haiti, Museu Arte Brasileira & Museu Internacional de Arte Naif Brasil, Rio de Janeiro 2005
Christmas Crackers, Crescent Arts, Scarborough 2004
Photographs of Haiti, October Gallery, London 2004
Haiti behind the Headlines, Spitz Gallery, London 2004
Kanaval, Brunei Gallery, SOAS London 2004
Ghost Train, Wiebke Morgan Gallery, Hoxton, London Jan 2003
Kanaval, TapTap Gallery, South Beach, Miami Feb 2002
Ladies of the Lwa, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Fitzrovia March 2002
Catching the Spirit, October Gallery, Holborn Oct 2000
Images of Haiti, Lambi Group, Washington Sept 1997
John Kobal Award, National Portrait Gallery, London Sept 1996
Haiti, October Gallery, Holborn Oct 1995
Photographs of Haiti, The Metro, Soho March 1993
Portraits, The Metro, Soho July 1992
Lesbian Erotica, Young Unknowns, Waterloo Sept 1990
Joint Show, Black Bull Gallery, Fulham Sept 1988
Welsh Open Portrait, Ffoto Gallery, Cardiff Sept 1984
Off the Central Line, Cockpit Gallery, Holborn Sept 1983
Polytechnic of Central London degree show July 1983
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