Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Indian Ocean"

Insularity, Mobility, and Imagination: Writing from the Indian Ocean

In early March 2011, two news items about Mauritius landed in my inbox almost simultaneously: one, a glowing article in the U. S. news magazine Slate, titled “The Greatest Country on Earth,” and the other, a denunciation of greed and environmental damage on the coast of the island, published in the Mauritian daily L’Express. In the first article, Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate in economics and professor at Columbia University in New York, rightfully sings the...

Center of Flacq

At the first rays of dawn, when the dogs abandon their posts and the vagrants their cardboard boxes, the most pointless of prayers ascends into the sky. A plea. God, grant us this day our daily bread . . . The wind from the east muffles the prayer, the voice weakens, but at that very instant you think it will vanish into thin air, it intensifies, proliferates, spreads out over the tarnished roofs of the municipal buildings, onto the sticky benches of a classroom. In plain sight the...

The Iron Caterpillar

Strange phenomena can strike such dread into human hearts that I ask you to believe in the one that knotted the stomach of the young diver named Paolo, who noticed the haze of the tunnel when he was returning from a day of fishing . . . Shortly after stowing his fishing gear, mask, snorkel, and flippers in a big, army-green sports bag, and proudly hooking the day’s catch of black jacks and red snappers onto the steel tip of his harpoon—which he immediately placed on his...

Traces of Our Fathers

Writer, journalist, and filmmaker Alain Gordon Gentil has recently finished shooting four documentaries that retrace the great Indian, African, French, and Chinese adventure of immigration to the Mauritian land.  The series is titled “Venus d’ailleurs” [“They Came from Elsewhere”].   Memories from the set. I have never celebrated the past, but my childhood has had a way of hanging on. And when it has you in its grip, it conjures images that...

The Sea Horses’ Ball

Below the Mipham plane the Himalayan sky. The wind florifies the snow. Fa-fa-mi . . . mi-fa-fa   . . . Shadows gain in luxuriance, tufts of omphalodes and orthosiphon. Don’t stay grounded. Don’t stay attached to anything. My word as a stewardess! In order to thank the Black Virgin and brush her by a breath in her orchard of light, the plane loses some altitude. And to allow the amphibians of outerlava to turn their faces toward the wheel of Virgil. Rain or shine,...

Moorings: Indo-oceanic Creolizations

Moorings (amarres in French), in Reunion Island Creole a profoundly polysemous term, also means   link, ties, enchanted, bewitched, to be in love, to be enraptured, to be bonded, to care (amar lë ker) whatever excites the senses (i amar la boush) [. . .]   Natives of an island that is often forgotten on maps of the world, often confused with other French overseas territories, we seek to affirm a problematic based on this very forgetfulness, on this...

Famine

Frogs invariably proliferate in a flood. My countries, crass latitudes and borders of hell, often encounter these blessed times. Winds and rains. Frogs. Toads. Pelobates and other pelodytes. Inflated rice paddies and the unmistakable stench of excavated death. Excavated lifted battered returned. The plague prowls and help is standing by to fill a few wallets. The world’s tears make good neighbors. Definite solidarity, international s’il-vous-plaît, on the silt of...

Kratos

From my face made puffy by the swelling of centuries my shithead laughter, I gaze at you from my manure where negro death unfolds in mass, crater bodies in rotten piles, pink abscess on vagina in bloom, smooth penis, stuck inert in the still pulsating throat of the latest cut-carved On my pile, Let there now be modernity, Let there now be prosperity, Let there now be liberty, I perish humus by my flesh You may now develop, emerge, grow, increase, consume, see, you are progressing,...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.