“Histoire de nègre ou le début d’une ‘aventure théâtrale’ avec Édouard Glissant et l’Institut Martiniquais d’Études: Entretien avec Juliette Éloi-Blézès.”
Nouvelles Études Francophones 30.2 (2015): 42-56
This interview with one of Édouard Glissant’s former colleagues from the Institut Martiniquais d’Études offers insight into the rarely-discussed school and cultural institution that he founded in 1967.
It also reveals how, at a time of social unrest and violent labor struggles on the island, Glissant established a theater group that traveled around Martinican villages performing an original play, Histoire de nègre.
Here, his colleague - and a former member of that theater group - Juliette Éloi-Blézès discusses the aims and impact of this community theatre, which deliberately reached out to local, working-class audiences.
Through their performances, the IME group sought to heighten Martinicans’ awareness of international civil rights and independence movements, and to connect them to the broader history of the black diaspora. Further, the play introduced its audiences to inspiring texts by Caribbean and African writers, to which the contemporary Martinican education system had severely curtailed their access.