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At the Limits of MemoryLegacies of Slavery in the Francophone World$
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Nicola Frith and Kate Hodgson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381595

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381595.001.0001

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Telling Stories of Slavery

Telling Stories of Slavery

Cultural Re-appropriations of Slave Memory in the French Caribbean Today

(p.49) Telling Stories of Slavery
At the Limits of Memory

Catherine Reinhardt

Liverpool University Press

Chapter three, by Catherine Reinhardt, uses the recent memorial surge and calls for school curricular revisions as a starting point for examining how local populations in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe are responding to memories of slavery. Specifically, it draws from oral interviews with Guadeloupians from a broad cross-section of society. The author sets out to explore perceptions of how slavery has been remembered, commemorated and taught in Guadeloupe by asking questions about the interviewees’ personal appreciation of local memorials and museums, their ability to identify with state-led commemorations, their reflections upon the remnants of slavery in contemporary society, and their thoughts on education more broadly. Their detailed responses not only reveal the controversies underpinning the remembrance of slavery in the new millennium, but also the extent to which visible signs of remembrance do, and do not, resonate with their personal experiences and emotions. Ultimately it is shown that the process of re-appropriating the past is a painstakingly slow one that arises from a fluid and multi-faceted culture becoming conscious of the continuing pervasiveness of societal structures of the past.

Keywords:   Slavery, Guadeloupe, Memory, Commemoration, Monument

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