Dominique Taffin, new director of Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage

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[Many thanks to AICA Caraïbe du Sud for bringing this item to our attention.] Christine Coste (Le Journal des Arts-France) reports that Dominique Taffin, director of the Archives of Martinique, will return to Paris, France, to direct the Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage [Foundation for the Memory of Slavery].

The Foundation for the Memory of Slavery [Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage], created on November 12, has installed its first board of directors. After thirteen years of incubation since the Glissant report advocating for its creation, the Foundation—whose public usefulness has been recognized—is finally taking shape. Jean-Marc Ayrault, who led its gestation process since May 2017, was elected president and Dominique Taffin was appointed director.

Born in Guadeloupe, Dominique Taffin (56), heritage curator since 2012, began her career in 1985 in Aix-en-Provence as assistant curator at the Archives d’Outre-Mer before joining in 1992 the National Museum of Arts of Africa and Oceania [Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie] where she was in charge of managing its “colonial” base. Since 2000, she directed the Departmental Archives of Martinique.

Unlike the former Prime Minister of François Hollande’s government [Jean-Marc Ayrault], Dominique Taffin did not have a role in planning or in the consecutive teams who were in charge of the creation of the Foundation for the Memory of Slavery. Her appointment is a way of smoothing out the differences and tensions of recent years. Pierre-Yves Bocquet, François Hollande’s former speech writer, is now deputy director general.

The choice of Cameroonian Romuald Fonkoua (58) as chairman of the Scientific Committee is part of this same unifying logic. A professor of French literature at Sorbonne University’s School of Arts and Letters and director of the International Center for Francophone Studies (CIEF), Romuald Fonkoua is not a specialist in the history of slavery.

[Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in French) see https://www.lejournaldesarts.fr/actualites/dominique-taffin-prend-la-direction-de-la-fondation-pour-la-memoire-de-lesclavage-146801?  (Subscription needed.)

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