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The Literatures of the French PacificReconfiguring Hybridity$
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Raylene Ramsay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380376

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380376.001.0001

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date: 15 July 2018

. Histories of Exile and Home

. Histories of Exile and Home

Strategic Hybridity

(p.123) 3. Histories of Exile and Home
The Literatures of the French Pacific

Raylene Ramsay

Liverpool University Press

Strategic histories of exile and of home are being constructed across all New Caledonian cultures. The figuration of exile as the violence of the denial of a history (and land) to Kanak peoples doubles the Kanak claim to a separate identity and the recovery of dignity, sovereignty and home(land). Corresponding tropes of exile and the struggles of the settler group to make a home in an often harsh new land, or of unwilling deportation, in the texts of New Caledonians of European origin carry a claim to be a citizen of the new community of ‘Common Destiny’ in the context of the 1998 Noumea Agreement. Descendants of Indentured labourers claim their home both as ‘victims’ of history and exile and in the light of the economic contributions of their forebears to the emerging new country. Telling the past in the new literatures of New Caledonia is a form of present identity construction and political negotiation for legitimacy and centrality for all New Caledonian groups.

Keywords:   Histories, Exile, Home, Settlers, Kanak, Indentured labour, Noumea Agreement, Victims of history, Strategic hybridity

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