June 16, 2004 - Roomade - Global Islands: Reunion as Agora
June 16, 2004

Global Islands: Reunion as Agora

Caecilia Tripp and Jean-Christophe Royoux
Global Islands: Reunion as Agora

17 June – 18 July 2004

60-62, rue des Commercants
1000 Brussels
Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 11AM to 7PM

Global Islands: Reunion as Agora, is an “archipelago” film in 10 parts (210 min.), produced in collaboration with the post-colonial critic Francoise Verges. It puts into relation the subjectivities of the various narrators; together they weave the entire history of an island with its multiple origins. Reunion, in the heart of the Indian Ocean, is a “global island” at the crossroads of African, European, Islamic and Asian cultures. It is a landmark that embodies Europe’s role in the history of globalization, characterized by colonialism, slavery, Indian indentured labor (engagisme), and finally political assimilation into the French Republic.

As a particularly active zone in the translation, interpretation and appropriation of cultures, the culture of Reunion has become a model of the phenomena of “creolization” in which we are all now involved to some extent. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the notion of “creolization” has been used increasingly by intellectuals and artists to describe and interpret the practices of cross-breeding and hybridization endemic to globalization. Initially coined in the context of Creole societies, the term implies an intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic opening-up to a wide diversity of experiences emerging from different cultures. With creolization, “identity” itself becomes unidentifiable, the concept of a community yet to come, a perpetual process of transgression of all existent identities.

Using the form of an exhibition installation, Global Islands: Reunion as Agora attempts to explore the effects and the methods of creolization in Reunion during the last thirty years. It examines the different ways in which multiple cultural identities interact with each other to reveal an amazing flexibility of process through which identities can be constructed. Thus the question of “identity” is not approached via the search for origins, but rather as a problem of translatability of the stories through which the participating narrators represent their history. It reverts to asking what narrative forms can be used to evince this relation between such different discourses of origins.
Global Islands: Reunion as Agora can be described as a plurivocal archipelago. Some of the participating narrators call the creolization processes specific to the island “reunionity”. In order to chart the cultural diversity of this island, the tensions and contradictions that occur within it must not be avoided. It is therefore a question of allowing each narrator in this “visual symposium” to experience the inherent tensions of the situation and thus prevent any fixed representation of “the Reunion identity.”

The exhibition invites spectators to a specific experience of “creolization” through a process of reflection that is firmly rooted in the reality of multiple narratives.
With: Laurita Alendroit-Ankrake, Gilbert Aubry, Rabia Hosman Badat, Fabrice Banor, Christophe Barret, Jack Beng-Thi, Ghislaine and Philippe Bessiere and Rasine Kaf, Dominique Carrere, Attila Cheyssial, Gilbert Clain, Mickael Crochet, Emmanuele Delossedat, Nelson Dijoux, J. Rene Dreinaza and Batay Coq, Prosper Eve, Thierry Fontaine, Sudel Fuma, Nathalie Gonthier, Anny Grondin, Bertrand Grondin and Radio Pikan, Joel Grondin, Serge Icard, Idriss Issop-Banian, Christian Jalma, Saminadin Axel Kichenin, Lucette Labache, Carpanin Marimoutou, Ninine Michaud and Fabienne Sevaye, Antoine Minatchy, Jean-Max Moutiapoulle, Michel Nasseau, Nathalie Natiembe, Alain Padeau, Michele Picardo, Jean-Claude Picardo, Colette Pounia, Gilbert Pounia, Christiane Rafidinarivo Rakotolahy, Ginette Ramassamy, Jean-Francois Reverzy, Florence Riviere, Michele Riviere, Eugene Rousse, Daniel Singainy, Swami Premananda Puri, Thierry Nicolas Tchakaloff, Francoise Verges, Paul Verges, Jean-Paul Virapoulle, Danyel Waro, Edith Wong-Hee-Kam, Live Yu-Sion, Wilhiam Zitte, and Elsa, Lionel, Nassur, Sanjiv, Leila, Alexandre, Marine.
Special guests: Edouard Glissant and Stuart Hall.
Curator: Barbara Vanderlinden

Produced by the Regional Council of Reunion, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the FRAC-Reunion.
Press Contact: Phone +32 475 34 12 44, +32 473 61 71 93, e-mail: office@roomade.org, www.roomade.org

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