The BUMIDOM in Interdisciplinary Perspectives

“The BUMIDOM in Interdisciplinary Perspectives” [Le BUMIDOM selon une approche interdisciplinaire] is a 2-day conference, with presentations in English and French, taking place on Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23, 2023, at the University of Liverpool. Keynote speakers will be Audrey Célestine, H Adlai Murdoch, and Jessica Oublié. Registration is now open (until June 1, 2023).

Description: 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of the BUMIDOM in 1963, making it an important time to reflect on the legacies of this organised migration scheme. The BUMIDOM (Bureau pour le développement des migrations dans les départements d’outre-mer) brought 160,000 Guadeloupean, Martinican, Reunionese and Guyanese workers to mainland France between 1963 and 1982. While some experienced migration as a form of social promotion, for many it was exploitative and coercive. Migration often occurred on gendered and racialized lines, as government officials tapped into stereotypes about Antillean men and women and then oriented professional opportunities around these stereotypes.

In today’s society where racial discrimination is still rife in France (and elsewhere), it is all the more important to analyse this particular instance of institutional racism and think through what it means to be Black and French today. The conference will bring together scholars and cultural practitioners from a range of disciplines, including history, cultural studies, and political science. There will be keynotes from 3 invited speakers: Dr Audrey Célestine, Professor H Adlai Murdoch, and Jessica Oublié. There will also be an opportunity to visit the ‘Leaving for the “Metropole”: An Odyssey of the Working-class’ exhibition, curated by Patrick Semiramoth and Willy Vainqueur and translated into English by Antonia Wimbush.

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