The Memorial ACTe: “A place to give life to memory while reconciling it with history”
WILLEMSTAD, POINTE-A-PITRE – During our trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, we’ve witnessed the official inauguration of the Memorial ACTe by the President of the French Republic, Françoise Hollande.
This impressive “Silver roots on a black box” is a monument that impacts the architectural history of Guadeloupe and the Caribbean. The monument is now a signature of the small city of Pointe-a-Pitre.
According to the President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe and former Minister of the French Overseas Territories, Victorin Lurel, Guadeloupe wants to contribute to the building of a universal and shared memory of slavery. “Indeed, working on a collective memory, which is immaterial by nature, requires the creation of spaces, of concrete benchmarks, of recognizable beacons that can be accessed not only by the individuals who are linked by a common history but also by those who will be inspired to reflect upon that history,” said Lurel.
“It is now time to heal the wounds of the past in order to help the women and the men of this country, and of all the countries that suffered from this crime, to move forward together regardless of their origins.”
During the official act, various Heads of States and Prime Ministers were present, including the Prime Minister of Curaçao, Ivar Asjes. Notable among the special guests were the President of Senegal, the President of Mali, the President of Haiti and various other heads of governments of the Caribbean islands.
The opening of the ACTe memorial on the site of a former sugar refinery that processed the products of slave plantations "will allow Guadeloupe and the whole of the Caribbean, with a deep bond with Africa, to tell the world that the combat for human dignity is not over", Hollande said on Saturday ahead of the inauguration.
Its cost - 83 million euros - has aroused criticism on an island with serious economic problems, although local officials hope it will help attract tourists to the island.
By Aldrich Hermelijn