Didier Civil

Didier Civil

Location: Haiti

I was born in 1973 io Jacmel, Haiti where I still live. I am an artist who works in paper mache. I have spent a long time teaching my trade to young adults and children. As a result of these skills, many of them are now able to provide for their families. This is the reason I founded CFAJ (Centre de Formation Artistique de Jacmel) - to keep the ripple effects of mentorship and teaching reaching into the future.

I grew up in a town where art was valued and masks were always being made for carnival, “madigras”. The real value of papier-mache occured to me when I learned about Lyonel Simonis, a master and pioneer of papier-mache mask-making. He was the first to make masks representing the indigenous inhabitants of Haiti. Being an artist enables me to show this art form -and its place in mask-making history- to the world.

When I do paper mache, I like to create the personalities of Vodou and scenes of life around me. Vodou is part of my culture, and paper mache is a way to show the world what it means, and the value it holds.
This is now truer than ever before.