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Articles tagged "Mauritius"

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...

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...

Weaving Dreams

And as he gazes at her, their soul-child is conceived (Henri Michaux, Life Within the Folds)   That day as she finished weaving the few meters that would wind seamlessly around her body, she tied off the threads and eased the fabric from the loom to hold it and marvel at its lightness. Her hands beneath its sheerness had turned blue. She placed it over her face and looked through it at the softened outlines of objects. At her slightest movement it whispered, speaking to...

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