Here are the slides I had prepared for my paper presentation at the Conference “Mauritius after 50 Years of Independence: Charting the Way Forward” which was held from 28 to 30 June 2017 at the University of Mauritius in collaboration with the Mauritius Research Council.
I have recently been embarked onto a research project entitled “Revisiting the linguistic and ethnographic specificities of Rodrigues” together with sociolinguists Arnaud, Yannick and Yani and ethnographist Daniella. The project was officially launched in Rodrigues in September when we had our first visit. We also conducted a workshop with potential collaborators there as well as some preliminary fieldwork for the research.
The last time I had been in Rodrigues was in 2000 for our honeymoon. So this 2016 visit was an opportunity to meet a large variety of people and talk about life on the island and how it has evolved over the past few years.
Somehow, since I was the only one who brought a decent camera thanks to Avinash, I turned out to be the official photographer over the 5 days we spent there. Though I do not master the techniques as much my husband, I enjoyed capturing the ambiance and expressions of people within their natural environment. I ended taking almost a thousand pictures (which led to much headache for selection and processing). So, here are a few interesting pictures from these encounters:
This 72 year old small shop owner recognised his family on a picture taken in the 1970’s by French researchers.
We went past the bead curtains into people’s living rooms.
This man’s face and eyes carry so much intensity, in contrast with his very quiet and serene environment.
This man seemed very intimidated in the beginning but turned out to have a very smiling and open expression for the camera.
I loved the idea of taking portraits on people’s doorsteps under their dainty curtains.
The oldest woman I met during the trip opened up to me about her life story, how she waited for her husband throughout war, and how life was hard, yet she courageously went through the challenges.
The old man and his boat. He was mending fishing nets in a very windy weather when we met him.
This dynamic woman with her grandchild eagerly accompanied us to meet her brother (the old man near the sea).
Local chicks strolling by under posters of foreign chicks at a hairdressing saloon.
I just loved this article snippet which says everything and nothing at the same time!
The famous “boudoute”, literally a very tough cookie that should be soaked in tea and tastes a bit like “pain d’épices”.
The “Chasive sur pattes” is having a siesta!
A tiny corlourful house in a vast area of empty rocky lands that gives a strange sensation of freedom.
Finally, our team with officials of the Rodrigues Commission for Arts and Culture.