The 4th Afro-Caribbean Arts Awards [Trophées des Arts Afro-caribéens] took place on September 21, 2009 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France. Previously known as the “Césaires de la musique” Afro-Caribbean Arts Awards added two new categories this year— literature and cinema— in memory of the late Aimé Césaire and the legacy of the négritude movement.
This year, French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand was present to give two very special prizes— one to Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé and the other to Martinican singer and actress Jenny Alpha (now 99 years old) , who served as master of ceremonies.
For the music award section, the Revelation of the Year prize was given to a young singer from Guadeloupe, Erik. Other musicians to win awards were Magic System, from the Ivory Coast, who won as best group with the album Ki dit mié, Ethiopian singer Mulatu Astatke, and Davy Sicard, representing the island of Reunion.
In cinema, the award went to director Guy Deslauriers for his film Aliker. The screenplay for this film was written by Patrick Chamoiseau. In the area of literature, the jury gave the prize in fiction to Tania de Montaigne for her novel Les Caractères sexuels secondaires [Secondary Sexual Characters] and for non-fiction to the essay La France a-t-elle aboli l’esclavage? [Has France Abolished Slavery?], by Nelly Schmidt, research director at the CNRS [National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne].
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Photo of Maryse Condé from http://www.duke.edu/web/cffs/archives/events_fr_spring06.html
Photo of Jenny Alpha from http://www.carleton.ca/francotheatres/a_artistes.html