Mémoires en strates

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


The series of social and political events are as many cumulative strata for the social body that keeps track of them and is the depositary of memories whose recollection calls for a work of coherence. In the societies of the Caribbean, slavery is the foundation on which are added events whose dimension brings us back to the tragedy of the founding violence. The event is understood in the sense given to it by Fassin and Bensa (2002: 6) as a "rupture of intelligibility" that obliges us to reorganise the worlds of meaning, always in relation to the resources made available by historical trajectories, in this case those drawn from the (post)slavery context. In other words, borrowed from Koselleck (1997: 111), "the conditions and determinations that intervene in each present event come from more or less deep strata of what is called the past". In the course of this day, we propose to look at events that have occurred in more or less recent periods in societies with a basis in slavery. We wish to examine these events from the angle of their articulation in successive strata, their repetitions, their dissociation/detachment, and their arrangement in relation to the slavery matrix. These "events" cover both tragic episodes and social movements that bring to light the memories of this ancient matrix. Our guests will make their contribution from their analysis of very diverse phenomena such as the presence of the prison in French Guyana, the massacres during the Duvalierist era in Haiti, the movement against the high cost of living in 2009 in the French West Indies, or the recent constitution of militant and academic networks to demand reparations for slavery. These analyses will help us to debate the question of "layered memories" and the presence of the tragedy of slavery in the events whose memory they bring together.
Period22 May 2019
Event typeConference
LocationParis, FranceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • slavery
  • memory
  • reparation
  • reparative Justice