Screening: “Yalifu—Voyage en terre Garifuna”


There will be a screening of the documentary Yalifu—Voyage en terre Garifuna [Yalifu—Voyage in Garifuna Territory] at Maison de l’Amérique latine in Paris, France, on March 5, 2018, at 7:00pm. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Garifuna artist Aurelio Martinez and the film director Gérard Maximin.

Description: In Honduras, Guatemala and Belize, the incredible epic of the Garifuna, the only African-American people to have never been enslaved. The international ambassador of Garifuna culture leads us through their footsteps.

Everything started in the 17th century. Legend has it that one day in 1635, two slave ships came crashing down on the reefs off the island of St. Vincent in the Grenadines. The African slaves rescued from the shipwreck took refuge on this providential land deserted by the whites. At the time, St. Vincent was inhabited by indigenous populations—Arawaks and Karibs—with which Africans mixed to form only one ethnic group, the Garinagu, better known as the Garifuna. After valiantly withstanding British conquest for years, the Garifuna were deported to Roatan Island, in Honduras Bay … From there, they reached the shores of Central America, where they still live today. It was two hundred and twenty-one years ago.

The Garifuna have no borders, a kind of nomad of the Caribbean, with their culture transmitted by word of mouth, thanks to the Paranda, a fusion between Amerindian, African, and Latin American music. Today, their language, dance, and music are inscribed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Gérard Maximin, accompanied by the Garifuna parandero and international cultural ambassador Aurelio Martinez, goes to meet this very closed community, where many villages still live in an autarky and have managed to organize themselves to defend their lands, coveted by the tourism industry, and its way of life, threatened by globalization.

[Translated by Ivette Romero.] For full article, see

Watch previews at

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