Bonsoir from Madinina!

A quick post as I don’t have regular email access – the centenary events in Martinique to mark Joseph Zobel’s birth have got off to a wonderful start!

On Friday, I was invited by the Mayor of Rivière-Salée, André Lesueur, to attend the opening ceremony in Riviere-Salee. It was a moving tribute with live music from a conch shell orchestra and readings from Zobel’s work, particularly Laghia de la mort, accompanied by a tambour drummer. This really brought the story to life! Monsieur Lesueur gave an excellent opening speech which really encouraged everyone to read and appreciate Joseph Zobel. This was followed by two videos, one recreating the lives of cane workers from the petite-bandes to the contremaitre, which succeeded in mixing humour and poignant reflections on what life was like ‘an tan lontan’. The second video was recorded by Jenny Zobel who, unable to attend in person for professional reasons, gave a warm and sincere address to the Saléens assembled in memory of her father.

Today I was at the Lycée Josph Zobel centenary opening event and it was fantastic to meet the pupils there and see the unveiling of a new plaque in Joseph Zobel’s honnour. We then visited the fantastic exhibition prepared by pupils with the hep of Raphaelle Bouville: I’ll be back to talk to them about my work on Zobel tomorrow and have been busy preparing…

Local newspapers and radio stations have done interviews, and I’ll post links when the interviews appear! I can’t thank my friends in Riviere-salee enough for working in such close collaboration with me, particularly Raphaelle Bouville at the Médiathèque!

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