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Postcolonial Realms of MemorySites and Symbols in Modern France$
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Etienne Achille, Charles Forsdick, and Lydie Moudileno

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620665

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620665.001.0001

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The Memorial ACTe

The Memorial ACTe

(p.186) The Memorial ACTe
Postcolonial Realms of Memory

Fabienne Viala

Liverpool University Press

This essay examines the nature, scope and consequences of the seism of memory since its eruption in 2000 in Guadeloupe, French West Indies. In particular, it questions how the context of a multifaceted appetite for collective remembrance took the form of competing strategies for memorialization in the space. As such, it focuses on the heritage of pain, resistance and pride at the local, national and regional levels. I draw on Shalini Puri’s analysis of the repressed memory of the 1983 Grenada revolution in Operation Urgent Memory to identify in the landscape of Guadeloupe submerged, residual and eruptive ‘platforms of memory’ (Puri, 2012). In the specific case of Guadeloupe, the collective efforts of the Guadeloupean people for re-appropriating their non-French and non-European heritage on the island have turned into competitive post-traumatic approaches of the history of transatlantic slave trade. This essay eventually analyses the case of the Mémorial ACTe (MACTe) – Museum of Contemporary Caribbean Art and Memorial for the History of the Slave Trade – as constituting the most successful expression of what I define as cultural marronage, in the ambivalent postcolonial environment of the French Overseas Regions.

Keywords:   Memory, Transatlantic Slave Trade, French Caribbean, Guadeloupe, marronage

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