Mémoire de l'esclavage en Haïti : entrecroisement des mémoires et enjeux de la patrimonialisation

Authors: Augustin, Jean Ronald
Advisor: Turgeon, Laurier
Abstract: Although the study of the memories of slavery has still attracted little attention among scholars in Haïti, the first country to be freed from the jaws of transatlantic slavery. Existing synthesis work on the subject are incomplete and take little these memories into account as being of heritage. The present thesis aims to fill this gap and to better our understanding of the situation, the entanglement and the stakes of the memories of slavery in Haiti today. Drawing from a large variety of oral and written sources, the study reveals a two parallel currents of thought characterized by, on the one hand, a lacunar amnesia of slavery and its social consequences (poverty, problem of color, social exclusion), and, on the other hand, by a hypermnesia of glorious historical events (war of independence, slave revolts and liberation). The perceptions of Haitians are divided around the tangible and intangible elements present in public and social space and these divergent views remain at the heart of numerous controversies which shape a wide range of memories: prestigious memory, traumatizing memory, memory of guilt, memory of victimization, memory of reclamation, and consensual memory. Religious practices such as voodoo form the very apotheosis of a memorial occultism connected to this past. All of these memories shed light on the main issues -historic and mnemonic, cultural and religious, social and political, and economic - of the processes of heritage making in Haiti today. The consequences of slavery are very profond and complex. It is difficult to fully appreciate their full depth. Because the memory of slavery is like an iceberg, we only perceive the summit: the base is submerged and hidden under water of forgetfulness. This thesis throws light on the role of these multiple memories in the construction of Haitian identity, torn between recognition and non-recognition of the ancestry of slavery and the appropriation of the ancestry of a free man. Through its memories of slavery, Haiti teaches us that valorizing heritage - beyond the oft-mentioned aspects of “living together” and tourism - is also a tool for making demands, for perpetual combat, for questioning social inequalities, and for resistance. This thesis also teaches us that the heritage status of the memories of slavery in Haitian society today must accommodate the trauma suffered pain, the pride of having triumphed over this tragedy and the consequences of
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 23 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/26648
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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