The Year of Césaire

Francophonie 2013

(From left to right) Jean-Luc Mure COCAC, Jacques Martial, Bruno Stefani DGAF and Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor of Saint Lucia

From the very beginning of the poem, when Jacques Martial, dwells on the poem by Aimé Césaire, he becomes the spokesperson of Negritude. It is the sound of the Caribbean night which falls over the audience, dazed and deafened by words of such rare power.

As part of the Francophone celebrations and also the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aimé Césaire, the poem in prose form “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal” was presented on March 20 at the French Residence, in Saint Lucia.

This presentation took place thanks to the strong support of the French Ambassador to the member states of the OECS, the regional counselor for cooperation and culture and under the patronage and presence of the Governor General of Saint Lucia.

Among the many informed and invited persons from cultural and educational backgrounds in Saint Lucia, one notes the presence of the two presidents of the Commission for “regional cooperation”, the regional counselors of Guadeloupe and Martinique and also the ambassadors of Brazil, Mexico and Cuba, all of whom are Francophiles and Francophones.

It was spoken word at its finest, the performance began with a recorded recital by Derek Walcott, the Saint Lucian Nobel Laureate for Literature who paid tribute to Aime Césaire through one of his poems.  To deliver such a powerful piece, one must be an incredible artist. Therefore it is with open arms, that Jacques Martial, transported us to the firmament of this great piece, which originates from 2Oth century francophone poetry, all through the night.

The performing tour of “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal”, by Aimé Césaire, presented by the Comédie Noire, in coproduction with Artchipel, the Scène Nationale of Guadeloupe and  supported by the French Institute, has had several highlights: in Haiti, where from March 14 – 18 the show was represented four times. In Martinique at the Habitation Clément, with the partnership of the Clément Foundation, a symbolic place filled with history and then finally in the group of member states of the OECS, the zone of the general
delegate of the foundation of the Alliance Française and also Saint Lucia.

The show also had tremendous success in Saint Vincent and Dominica where it was held on March 22 and 25 respectively.

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