From November 25 to December 2 was held in Guadeloupe the “Festival Écritures des Amériques”. On the occasion of this great literature festival, the public was invited to participate in conferences, workshops and literary meetings among others in the presence of seven writers who came from the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe.
Created in 2000 following a meeting between the female writer Maryse Condé and the industrialist Amédée Huyghues-Despointes, the “Prix des Amériques Insulaires” became in 2015 the “Festival Écritures des Amériques”. If the name changed, the objective remains the same, namely : “To celebrate literature, to create these particular worlds to heard the writers’s voices, to appreciate the power of their imagination to tell the world”. During fifteen years, this literary event welcomed more than forty distinguished authors from various countries. Besides Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe), we can mention Dany Laferrière and Yanick Lahens (Haiti), Alain Mabanckou (Congo) Léonora Miano (Cameroon), Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (France and Mauritius), Sylvain Tesson (France), or Scholastique Mukasonga (Rwanda).
For this edition, seven other writers were invited to share the love of words with the public. These are: Simone Schwarz-Bart (Guadeloupe) who published last May “Adieu Bogota” with Éditions Seuil; Baptiste Rossi (France), the author of “Le Roi du Sud” also published in 2017 by Grasset; Jim Fergus (United States) whose latest novel “La Vengeance des Mères” was released in September 2016 by Éditions Cherche Midi; Hédi Kaddour (France & Tunisia) who, in 2015, signed the novel “Les Prépondérants” at Gallimard; Gary Victor (Haiti) and his latest book “Le Temps de la Cruauté”, published this year by Éditions Philippe Rey; Laurent Gaudé (France) whose most recent novel “Écoutez nos Défaites” was published in 2016 by Actes Sud; and finally, Santiago Gamboa (Colombia) who delivered in 2017 “Dans Retourner dans l’Obscure Vallée” to the Edition Métailié.
A decentralized festival to be closer to the readers
The Festival Écritures des Amériques was opened in images with the screening of two films: “Néruda” by Pablo Larrain dedicated to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and “Citoyen d’Honneur” by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn which tells the return to the country of an Argentinian writer who received the Nobel Prize.
The organizers of this literary event wanted it to be decentralized throughout the week. “From Fort Fleur d’Epée to the Memorial ACTe via many other reading venues or public meetings, the proposed appointments are all right moments to discover the works and to get to know the authors who imagine them”, said Marie Abraham-Despointes, the president of the Association “Prix des Amériques Insulaires”.
So, from November 25 to December 2, several places (multimedia libraries, high schools, secondary schools, bookstores, cultural halls, etc.) in a dozen cities and towns (Pointe-à-Pitre, Les Abymes, Basse-Terre, Le Gosier, Le Lamentin, Petit-Bourg, Goyave, Saint-Claude, Morne à l’Eau, Sainte-Rose and Sainte-Anne) received the authors for conferences, literary salons, readings of poetry and chapters from novels, writing workshops, book signings… It must be noted that Laura Clauzel (actress) was chosen to read the texts by the invited authors of the Festival while Jacques Martial (actor) read passages from the works of Gabriel García Márquez and Édouard Glissant at the closing ceremony on December 2. Moreover, on December 9, will be inaugurated at the Memorial ACTe, as part of the 2017 France-Colombia year, the temporary exhibition “Gabriel García Márquez, Édouard Glissant, the Caribbean: Loneliness and Relationship” which was presented last June at the Museo del Caribe in Barranquilla.