Honoring Aimé Césaire


Around the globe, special events are underway to commemorate the life of Martinique’s famed poet, playwright, and politician, Aimé Césaire, throughout 2013, which marks the centennial anniversary of his birth. Césaire, who passed away in April 2008, is hailed as a principal advocate for civil rights in the French West Indies, both through his writings and in his 55 years serving as the Mayor of Fort-de-France, Martinique. [See previous post 100 years Aimé Césaire.]

Of course, there have been many important centennial events on his island, but other countries also continue this year’s commemoration. For example, on June 21, in Rabat, Morocco, the Mohammed V-Souissi University held a lecture by A. Ajbour (“Césaire: l’homme-poème de l’archipel”); the opening of the exhibition “J’ai apporté une parole d’homme: vie et œuvre d ‘Aimé Césaire,” and a screening of one part of Euzhan Palcy’s documentary film “Aimé Césaire, Une voix pour l’Histoire.” The next series of events this month will be held in France on June 24-26 (including the inauguration of a quay and a public square–Quai Aimé Césaire and Place Aimé Césaire):

In Paris:

On Monday, June 24, at the National Assembly, there will be a public meeting to discuss a proposed resolution for overseas departments, which was filed on June 4 by MPs Serge Letchimy (Martinique), Bruno Le Roux, and other colleagues. The proposed resolution calls for more responsibility and freedom to spearhead initiatives in the Caribbean region.

June 24 at 11:00am, there will be a press conference introducing the presentation “Aimez ces air(e)s” [a play of words on his name) at Studio Blue, Petites Stables Street in Paris’ 10th arrondissement. “Aimez ces air(e)s presents an intercultural educational program with exhibitions, artists’ residencies, multidisciplinary workshops, meetings and book signings.

On Tuesday, May 25, at 4:30pm (16h30), the representative council of Black Associations [Conseil représentatif des associations noires (CRAN)] calls for laying the foundation stone for a future museum of slavery and colonization, in memory of Aimé Césaire (Court of Human Rights, Trocadero (Trocadero metro).)

On Wednesday, June 26, at 11:00am, the name  Aimé Césaire will be given to a quay (Quai Aimé Césaire), from Quai des Tuileries and Général Lemonnier Avenue to the François Mitterrand Quay, ending at the Leopold Sedar Senghor footbridge in Paris (1st arrondissement, Tuileries Métro). Anne Hidalgo, First Deputy Mayor of Paris will preside over the ceremony will be presided over by, opposite the entrance to “Seine” in the Tuileries Gardens.

Aubervilliers (Seine Saint-Denis) has been celebrating since June 4. On June 26, Aubervilliers celebrates the centenary with concerts, roundtables, lectures, film screenings, and exhibitions to discuss Césaire’s career, his work, and emancipatory themes which remains a major reference. See more at http://www.aubervilliers.fr/actu90864.html.

Villiers-le-Bel (Val d’Oise): On June 26 starting at 6:30pm, the Aimé Césaire Municipal Library and the Bitasyon-lyannaj-kreyol Association will celebrate with poetry, storytelling, and readings, followed by a concert at 5:30 p.m. with Dédé Saint-Prix. (Location: Bibliothèque intercommunale Aimé Césaire à Villiers-le-Bel, 1, place Victor Hugo – 95400 – Villiers-le-Bel).

Montreuil (Seine Saint-Denis): Also on June 26 at 7:00pm, will be the inauguration of the Aimé Césaire Square (located at the end of rue des Lumières next to Altaïs Tower), with Caribbean music starting at 8:30pm by Mizikopéyi, with Tony Chasseur and Chris Combette.

In Marseille:

In Bouches du Rhône, there will be a screening of EIA pour Césaire (2009) by Guadeloupean director Sarah Maldoror on June 26, from 5:30 to 8:30pm.

For more information, see http://www.la1ere.fr/2013/06/18/centenaire-aime-cesaire-l-agenda-des-manifestations-dans-l-hexagone-42539.html

Also see http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/propositions/pion1103.asp and http://www.musiquesdumonde.fr/AIME-CESAIRE,1126

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