Between history and its trace

Slavery and the Caribbean archive

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Christine Chivallon Sciences Po Bordeaux – Université de Bordeaux

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This article engages with the wide‐ranging debate on the ‘archival turn’ by exploring the archive's potential to tell ‘something of the past’. It sets the results of anthropological fieldwork in Martinique on the memory of slavery into dialogue with the theories of Glissant and Ricoeur. The experience of the descendants of participants in a 19th‐century anticolonial uprising in Martinique testifies to a memory bound to the recollections of this primal scene of violence, while demonstrating how access to the archive gives the latter new life, infusing it with the subjectivities that it was meant to suppress.

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