||'The concept of Coolitude parallels that of Negritude, pioneered by Clive James and other African and Caribbean intellectuals in the 1950s and 1960s, and could have an equally profound cultural impact… This book is both politically and intellectually ambitious. Marina Carter is one of the most highly regarded historians of the Indian Ocean. Her co-author is a poet and intellectual, a veritable giant in France… The list of his achievements goes on and on.'
Crispin Bates, PhD, University of Edinburgh.
Coolitude is both an intellectual interpretation of, and a poetic and artistic immersion into the world of the vanished coolie. This collection of previously unpublished texts, poems and sketches captures the essence of the Indian plantation experience and deconstructs traditional depictions of the status of the coolie in the British Empire.
The concept of Coolitude encompasses the experiences of the first generation workers together with those of their descendants spread across the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands today. The symbolic value of the word lies in both the scope it gives us to interpret the specificities of the coolie experience and its use as a comparative tool. The book embraces Coolitude in its various incarnations: the shared experience of the voyaging migrants, the walk from village to port town and the weeks spent on board ship. All coolies, irrespective of whether they went to Fiji, South Africa, the West Indies or the Indian Ocean islands, underwent an exile from their Indian homeland. Coolitude emphasizes their shared history.
About the Authors: Marina Carter completed her DPhil in history at Oxford University and subsequently held a research fellowship at Royal Holloway and Bedford College, University of London, followed by a Research Fellowship funded by the American McArthur Foundation. She has worked and studied for many years in Mauritius, where she founded a pioneering NGO called the Centre for Research on Indian Ocean Societies (CRIOS). Widely published, she was recently appointed an honorary research fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh.
Khal Torabully, the descendant of a lascar community who left India two hundred years ago, lives and works in France where he is a doctor of linguistics and an acclaimed poet and film-maker. He has numerous publications and awards to his credit, including the Prix Missives 1998 for his L'Ombre Rouge des Gazelles and the prize for best film-maker at the Zanzibar International Film Festival of 1998.
On The Web