<<Projeto Etnografias da Materialidade e da Transformação no Caribe e nas Guianas (2009-2015) - 1ª Fase
English | Português
Marronismes, bricolages and cannibalisms: artists’ paths and appropriations of Aimé Césaire in contemporary Martinique
Magdalena Sophia Ribeiro de Toledo
The paths of martinican artists (visual artists, actors, theater directors) whose works or artistic pathways are affected by Aimé Césaire (1913-2008) – martinican poet, essayist, playwright and politician who was one of the founders, in the 30’s, of the literary movement called “Negritude” – are the starting point of this work. Aimé Césaire was the most important politician in Martinique during the period that followed the departmentalization, and is the most well-known author on the island. The author’s literary path reveals influences of the Surrealist art movement, which can be considered to have acted as a catalyst (together with his experience as a black student from a French colony in Paris in the 30’s) for the “Negritude” movement. Author of works that show anti-colonialist criticism accompanied by the acknowledgement of the importance of African legacy on the constitution of martinican culture, the verses, plays’ passages and political texts by Aimé Césaire are the prominent element in many of the creations or esthetic reflections of those artists. In the case of the artists of this research, this influence appears in a context in which art seems to be, at the same time, a means of self-knowledge that includes comprehension, formulation and expression of a new “caribbeanity” or of a “conscience of being black” (even as a cultural resistance to European esthetic forms, that were dominant until the implementation of the cultural policy elaborated by Césaire in the 70’s, which was fundamental to build amartinican cultural identity). Thus, following the paths suggested by the artists through their work, I try to reach a comprehension about how they decided “to do martinican culture” by producing artefacts and how Aimé Césaire himself appears as a symbolically relevant artifact in this process and, also, how the elaboration of these artefacts and performances makes them, at the same time, “martinicans” and “artists”.