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Fort-de-France les statues ne meurent pas1

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First, the acts of vandalism that have been perpetrated against the statues of Empress Josphine, Victor Schoelcher and Thodaure Baude in Fort-de-France, then the bust of Mahatma Gandhi offered by the Government of the Republic of India to the City of Fort-de-France, and finally the project of renovation of the park la Savane in Fort-de-France are the three parameters that sustain this analysis on the various strategies used to remember and reclaim a forgotten and suppressed history and criticize the power of an imposed official French colonial History in the city of Fort-de-France. This article contends that the mutilations and degradations committed against theses statues as well as the addition of new statues in Fort-de-France constitute an historical discourse that reshapes them as significant political places of memory. These lieux de mmoire in turn create a constructive dialogue between an official History and concealed local histories, and fill in the holes of a colonial memory.

Keywords: Fort-de-France; Impratrice Josphine; Mahatma Gandhi; Martinique; Thodaure Baude; Victor Schoelcher; la Savane; lieux de mmoires; statue; statut

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Curtius University of Iowa.

Publication date: June 16, 2008

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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