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La Case Créole as Reunionnese lieu de mémoire

Waters, J. (2018) La Case Créole as Reunionnese lieu de mémoire. In: Forsdick, C., Achille, E. and Moudileno, L. (eds.) Postcolonial Realms of Memory. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

This article explores the 'case créole' as an evolving, adaptable lieu de mémoire in the French département of Ile de la Réunion. In recent decades, central state funding from the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication has supported academic studies of Reunion’s rich architectural heritage and has promoted the development of a ‘tourisme vert’, celebrating the island’s natural wonders, its colonial architecture and it distinctive, creole way of life. Given Île de la Réunion’s 350 years of French rule, this article argues, it is perhaps paradoxical that it should take the external intervention – and gaze – of the former colonial centre to recognise the value of, and so to preserve and promote, the island’s rich local cultural heritage. Such external, arguably neo-colonial interventions certainly help to conserve the fabric – and the superficial aesthetics – of Reunion’s otherwise endangered cases créoles. Yet, such external interventions also run the risk of turning the constantly evolving, adaptive and functional milieu de vivre that was the case créole into a purely symbolic, functionless museum piece, frozen in time for the appreciation of foreign tourists.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > French
ID Code:76133
Publisher:Liverpool University Press

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