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9582 - Adieu foulard, adieu Madras: Contemporary Elegy of French Caribbean

Adieu foulard, adieu madras is an old air of French West Indies. The farewell love song of Antilles in the days of steamers attracted islands visitors as well. In Metropolis, it has been spread through tremendous adaptations brought by for example Henri Salvador. However, it has not been well known that the histories of the Antilleans have inscribed and been implemented on the air. They had sung it to bid farewell for over a half century, today rare Antilleans living both side of Atlantic Ocean break hush its exact notion up.

Guadeloupe and Martinique were taken as possession of France in 1635, were colonized for the use of Sugar cane plantation. It had been maintained by slave trade and slavery under Black Code. By the second decision of abolition of slavery on 27 April 1848, status of full-fledged French citizen was brought to the enslaved people. Guadeloupe and Martinique, with Guyana and Reunion as “vieilles colonies”, become Overseas department by the law of 19 March 1946. In 1962 when French Government had come up with a new policy, Antilleans were called to immigrate to Hexagon -- Metropolitan France—in response to the recruitments of cheap labor. The issue of the slavery system in the past and the responsibility of the state over the system as popular interrogations have their root in the political movements of Caribbean African in Diaspora. Why has such a conscience been crystallized in the dawn of 21st Century?

This paper aims to explore the relation of contemporary Antillean with their histories through the song Adieu foulard, adieu Madras. Why today after 400 years ago, they don't stop talking about slavery and their ascendants? To what extent was making of their identity correlated with evolution of an institutional framework "département d'outre-mer”? Finally this paper will give views to their collective reject of a concept "the diversity to designate the French society toward multiculturalism.

Author: Oryu, Yoko ("none", Japan / Japan)

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