Depicting social dispossession in Guadeloupe: Nèg maron, Lettre ouverte à la jeunesse and the General Strike of 2009

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In early 2009, the overseas French départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana were rocked by a general strike railing against ‘la vie chère’ and the départements' ongoing economic and political dependence upon metropolitan France. This article suggests that the concerns highlighted by the strike were already finding urgent expression prior to 2009 in Guadeloupean cultural output. The analysis focuses on filmmaker Jean-Claude Flamand-Barny and author Ernest Pépin, who examine social dispossession amongst adolescents and young people in their early twenties. These neglected cultural works make an incisive contribution to contemporary debates on economics, history and politics in the DOMs, while attempting to restore agency to a particularly vulnerable generation of young Guadeloupeans.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-305
Number of pages18
JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012