2013 Summer School Reflections by Course Organizers

Jean Casimir: 
The summer course displayed the variety of responses to the colonial matrix of power available according to the location chosen to enunciate one’s observation.

The case-study of the Haitian Revolution exemplified the presentations relating to the matrix and echoed those of artists expressing a diversity of responses to the imprisonment it sponsored.  The case-study described the itinerary followed by a set of enslaved people brought most of them in the second half of the 18th century to operate the plantation system of the French colony of Saint-Domingue.  It showed the measures taken by these oppressed people to recover their autonomous existence, building, in the process, the institutions necessary to operationalize their self-reliance.  The practices they enacted, paralleled the crises ensuing from the French Revolution and culminated, from 1804 onward, in the political independence of a state forced to interface with a counter-plantation system challenging the basic tenets of the colonial matrix of power.

Jean c.

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