Archives de la catégorie Histoire/History

Precheur; alter. 1899.

Edited, 22/05/17

More than a short blog post is necessary to describe historical root of the imposing omnipresence of Catholic church in Martinique. Here I give the main points and I hope not to neglect any important one. The reason for this post is that I am always surprised to see how full churches are in Martinique, with people from all ages, from all social class and all ethnic categories. Some town are nowadays only animated by the church activity.

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In the aftermath of the second World war and 100 years after slavery was abolished, Aimé Césaire invited Denise Colomb to capture the reality of a worn out Island. Far from doudouism-the stereotype of an exotic paradise with a French accent, sweetened with romance and lassitude- Denise Colomb showed a realistic picture of the island. It included poverty and social gap, misery and sometimes laughs. Hope in eyes despite difficult everyday life. It included Woman especially, who kept the Martinican society on their hips and hearts. Colomb or Colombus as family name is not unknown in Martinique. Denise Loeb took it as pseudonyme during second world war in order to escape Gestapo. Le Jeu de Paume in Paris presented an exhibition dedicated to this work in 2009.
Below are pictures taken from the website Le jeu de Paume. The website also presents the article written in 1950 in the magazine « Regards »: « Martinique, from legend to reality ».

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Martinique. marchandepistachegrosmorne


The more I look at the archive pictures the more I am struck by the natural elegance of women in Martinique, leading me to the idea that the mix of Caribbean, African, European and Indian brought the best of fashion in the Caribbean. The way the dresses hang, the perfect starching of the fabric, show that woman didn’t go out in the street before thinking carefully what they wanted to look like and what they wanted people to think of them. And most of the time the wanted to look well dressed and sophisticated, forgetting the harshness of the everyday life of the post slavery society.

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P1040911It is nowadays hard to believe that the abandoned thermal station of Absalon used to be a flourishing thermal bath nested in the tropical rain forest in Martinique where well-born used to go in order to expel their parasites and cure their long term diseases.

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English Below

Il est étonnant que l’histoire d’Aimée Dubuc de Rivery n’ai pas encore été récupérée par des cinéastes avides d’aventures. Car c’est une véritable aventure (si tant est qu’elle ne soit pas purement imaginée) que vécu cette jeune fille bien née, fille de colons Martiniquais, partie de la Martinique et plus précisément de la petite commune du Robert afin de parfaire son éducation en France comme il était d’usage pour les jeunes filles de l’époque.

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