For more than a century, the site where the Memorial is located today, in Pointe-à-Pitre, was home to the Darboussier sugar factory, the largest unit in the Antilles. It was closed in 1980 and demolished except for the administrative annex, a colonial-style building. This factory, known to the West Indians for having swallowed quantities of sugar cane, was chosen for its history: many generations of Guadeloupeans have succeeded one another there and forced labor was widespread. Today, the site is home to one of the largest memorials dedicated to slavery.
Initiated by the President of the Guadeloupe Region, Victorin Lurel, accompanied by the International Committee of Black Peoples (ICBP), the Slavery Memorial aims to create a place dedicated to the collective memory of slavery, open to the contemporary world. In 2014, NGOs estimated that 36 million people were enslaved in conditions similar to slavery, proving that the issues and reflections conducted by the ACTe Memorial are unfortunately of undeniable relevance.
On May 10, 2015, the day of the commemoration of slavery in France, the Memorial was inaugurated by the President of the time, François Hollande. Many heads of state from the Caribbean and Africa also made the trip for the occasion.
The ACTe Slavery Memorial was conceived and designed solely by Guadeloupean architects: Jean-Michel Mocka-Célestine, Pascal Berthelot, Michael Marton and Fabien Doré. With the help of 300 workers, these architects have built the site on the seafront like a ship. Visitors can discover, through 6 archipelagos comprising 39 islands, the history of slavery from antiquity to the present day. The site is not only a memorial but also a museum, a center for the performing arts and a conference center. It houses three poles :
that of knowledge with a permanent exhibition
that of exchange and diffusion,
that of meditation with a panoramic garden of 2.2 hectares called the Morne Mémoire, suspended and linked to the memorial by a footbridge 11.5 meters high and 275 meters long.
The Slavery Memorial site is much more than a place dedicated to memory. The building houses many spaces :
a museum with a permanent exhibition of 1,700 m2 allowing a visit of 2 to 3 hours
a temporary exhibition room of 700 m2 with a diverse program a genealogical research space open to families associated with a media library
a library open to all
modular educational workshops
a landscaped park - the Morne Mémoire - accessible by the footbridge associated with the visit
a multi-purpose hall with 300 seats that can accommodate live shows, meetings, seminars, conventions, or other events, including a gourmet restaurant and a terrace
The ACTe Memorial welcomes you from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission: 15 €/adult and 10 € reduced rate (-18 years old, +65 years old, disabled persons, students, job seekers).
Allow about 2 hours for the visit. A free audioguide in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Creole is given to you at the beginning of the visit.
More info: http://memorial-acte.fr/
After a good visit of the museum, what about going to discover the Guadeloupean gastronomy to recharge your batteries ?
To facilitate your travels on the island during your stay, book your rental car with Europcar Guadeloupe.
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