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Creole cultures: Conference in Seychelles culminates with music and dance show

Victoria, Seychelles | March 9, 2024, Saturday @ 18:19 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 6876
Creole cultures: Conference in Seychelles culminates with music and dance show

The musical show on Friday was the culmination of the parallel programme in which artists worked together to create a new piece that was authentic to their respective countries. (Creative Seychelles Agency/FaceBook)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The 'Rencontres Creoles des Seychelles'  (Seychelles' Creole Meetings) conference closed with a poignant performance on Friday evening allowing the artists who participated to show their respective country's music and instruments.

The Conference of Creoles Nations, held in Seychelles, brought together representatives from various Creole countries, including Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues and Madagascar.

The musical show on Friday was the culmination of the parallel programme in which artists worked together to create a new piece that was authentic to their respective countries. The rest of the show included performances of pieces they practiced for during the week that the conference was running - such as a fusion piece of the Seychelles' traditional dance music being performed on instruments from Madagascar.

The head of the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD), Christine Chetty, told SNA that she was very satisfied with the conference and the points raised throughout the three days.

"It was also good that students were attending as well, which gave them the chance to voice their opinions," she said.

After the three days, those attending the conference agreed that action should be taken to protect the Creole identity. One of the final topics addressed on the last day was that of reparations for slavery and the manner it should be carried out.

Seychellois attorney and leader of government business in the National Assembly, Bernard Georges, presented a paper detailing the history of slavery in the Seychelles.

"Seychelles did not have as many slaves as other plantation nations," he said and added that in a census at the time, there were 6,000 plantation slaves and  7,000 domestic slaves.

"The effects of slavery are like Humpty Dumpty; all the king's horses and all the kings' men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again," said Georges.

The meetings were organised in the context of the possible inclusion of Creole cultures on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, an initiative of the President of Cape Verde, José Maria Neves.

Neves presented it at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022. The civil society-led initiative wants Creole countries to be able to position themselves, under one voice, regarding their intangible heritage, promoting peace, friendship between peoples, and development cooperation, based on the values that Creolisation has brought to civilisation.

The meeting in Seychelles was organised in coordination with the World Summit of Creole Countries, Nations and Regions due to take place in September in Cape Verde. The reports and recommendations will be taken to the summit in September. 

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Tags: Rencontres Creoles des Seychelles, Seychelles Institute of Art and Design

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