Today would have been Joseph Zobel’s 102nd birthday!
To help you remember that the Martinican author Joseph Zobel was born in 1915, here are 15 photos.
They were all taken in 2015, during the international commemorations marking his birth.
All the images were taken during my research project into this important Caribbean author. As part of the project, I was honoured to be an advisor to the Zobel Centenary steering committee in Rivière-Salée, in the south of Martinique, the area where Zobel was born.
As part of the local centenary celebrations, I was also honoured to be invited to give public talks at schools and community centres about Zobel by the Town Council of Rivière-Salée, and to help organise an exhibition on Zobel at the local library.
In metropolitan France, I took part in a panel on Zobel at the Paris Book Fair (Salon du Livre) organised by the French Ministry for France Overseas.
I will publish a book on Zobel next year! Looking back over these pictures reminds me what an exiting voyage of discovery it has been. Sharing and developing my ideas with communities interested in Zobel in Martinique and mainland France was absolutely essential, as it gave me the chance to explain why my research on Zobel is leading to new and exciting insights about the author and his work.
It was wonderful to meet so many people across the world who are passionate about Zobel and his literature!
You’ll find full details about each picture below the slideshow.
- The community event to launch the Year of Zobel (Année Zobel) in Rivière-Salée
- The Mayor of Rivière-Salée commemorating Zobel’s birth at the Joseph Zobel High School (Lycée Joseph Zobel)
- The whole school assembly in honour of Zobel at the Georges Elisabeth Middle School (Collège Georges Elisabeth) in Rivière-Salée
- My talk to the whole school assembly at the Georges Elisabeth Middle School
- My discussion with high school pupils at the Joseph Zobel High School – they had so many great questions for me!
- Me after my public talk at the Community Centre in Rivière-Salée (pictured with members of the Zobel steering committee)
- The public media library (Médiathèque) in Rivière-Salée where I helped to curate a special Zobel exhibition
- Me with librarian Raphaëlle Bouville, who organised the exhibition (you can see part of it behind us)
- Me being interviewed about Zobel on ATV evening news (see full video here)
- The special edition of local literary television programme ‘Le mag littéraire’ on Zobel, where I was a panelist with other members of the Zobel committee
- The procession through the streets of Rivière-Salée in honour of Zobel
- Back in metropolitan France, the Paris Book Fair 2015 held a series of events to honour Zobel, organised by the cultural organisation Shared Passions (Passions partagées) with the Ministry for France Overseas, and fantastic involvement from the Zobel family themselves.
- I spoke on a special panel on Zobel at the Paris Book Fair…
- …and in the audience was the (then) Minister for France Overseas, George Pau-Langevin
- Last but not least, Martinican film director Euzhan Palcy speaking at the Paris Book Fair about her award-winning film adaptation Sugar Cane Alley, which brought Zobel’s best-known novel to new audiences around the world.