Brooklyn art exhibit explores Dominican Republic and Haiti's relationship

The Dominican Republic and Haiti: two countries that share one island. Bordering the Imaginary, an art exhibit in Brooklyn, showcases the relationship between the two Caribbean neighbors.

"This exhibition is not claiming that these two countries are the same," said Abigail Lapin Dardashti, guest curator at BRIC. "On the contrary, the exhibition explores the differences and similarities between these two countries."

Dardashti is a scholar in Latin American art. She is also Dominican American. Her work here was inspired by a controversial 2013 ruling that stripped Dominican citizenship from children of Haitian descent.

"There were a lot of discussions around that law, but there wasn't a lot of education about the relationship between the two countries, the island, and especially about the visual artists who were making work," Dardashti said.

She felt the need to educate people on the histories and hopes her four-part exhibition provides that perspective.

"All these parts are modes for exploring the relationship, the complicated relationship between the two countries and where collaboration and exchange have emerged in the last three centuries," she said.

The display is three years in the making. It serves as a way to bring artists of both nationalities, artists like Edouard Duval-Carrie and Scherezade Garcia, together.

Overall, 40 pieces from 19 artists will be featured. The diversity of it all, most important.

"I really hope people think more broadly about what Latino art is, what Caribbean art is and what Hispaniola is all about," Dardashti said.

The Bordering the Imaginary exhibit will be on display at BRIC House in Fort Greene through April 29. These artists hope their work not only makes an impact but also helps to advance these important conversations.