Is Guadeloupe on the road to recovery ?

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President, Comité Marche du 23 mai 1998 (CM98) (association to commemorate the abolition of Negro slavery in French colonies)


Psychologist, Director, Centre d'aide aux familles matrifocales et monoparentales (CAFAM - Centre for single-parent families and family organisations centred around the mother)

Seminar Entrepreneurs, towns and regions | Wednesday July 1, 2009 - 8h45 - 10h45

According to Serge Romana and Viviane Rolle-Romana, even though economic factors were given as the reasons for the crisis which struck Guadeloupe at the beginning of 2009, it is the burden of the memory of slavery on the local population and their consequent difficulty in adjusting their identity which is the real root of the problem. Some people would like to forget that they are descendants of freed slaves; some would like to deny that and prefer to relate to the slave figure who set himself free; while others would rather not attach importance to slavery and would prefer to promote the Creole identity as a model for globalisation. The French government has been actively involved throughout the history of Guadeloupe. In the beginning, it organised slavery and the slave trade and then abolished them both in 1848. Subsequently, it kept the economy of Guadeloupe subject and subservient to Metropolitan France while at the same time developing a consumer society after 1946. Despite this, France has always found difficulty in admitting the essential role it has played in the quest in adjusting the Guadeloupian identity. Viviane Rolle-Romana and Serge Romana suggest that no long-lasting solution to the crisis can be found unless the question of identity is tackled and settled. However, this implies that the people involved will have to readjust their thinking.

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