Blog post

Creole culture movement

Kreolitude and what it can bring to people

A creole woman in a red turban
by
Marc Lints (Senior Consultant, Actions Culturelles Internationales asbl)

Every year since 1986, 28 October is ‘Jounen Kréyol toutwon Latè’ (International day of créole). First initiated on the island of Dominica the celebrations last between one week in places like Saint Lucia, Dominica and Guyana to a whole month in places such as Guadeloupe and Montréal.

Women in kotomisi attire a Creole festival in Surinam

The term ‘Kreolitude’ makes reference to ‘Négritude’ the French literary and political movement of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, which was linked to anti-colonialism and slavery. - Following this literary movement, ‘La Kreolitude’ is an artistic and cultural commitment to define Creole culture in all its components.

Painting of a creole boy with a Moth

The complexity of origins leads to a blended identity that does not allow an individual to get lost in the myth of returning to ancestral origins. But leads to an individual 'reconstruction' in a new culture, rich in its differences. This implies a sense of creativity and inventiveness in order to make these differences a collective work, in a process of creation and going well beyond a multicultural society.

A painting of a young Creole girl with a hat

If Creole is defined as a feeling, that of being Creole, Kreolitude would be defined as an action, that of understanding the Creole fact and of letting people know what it can bring to other peoples.

Young boy on the drums in the streets with people watching the festival in the background

From the launch in 2018, artists and cultural professionals, as creators and mediators, were made aware of the promotion of the heritage of Creole cultures to their audiences.

Very symbolically, ‘Creole Cultures’ will be presented to UNESCO as a candidate for inclusion on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The achievements of Creole artists testifying to Creole culture have already spread around the world. Some have been presented to UNESCO for registration and have been accepted.

Currently, the OCÉANA project is being prepared. This aims to develop access for all to resources, such as an interactive digital encyclopedia of the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of the Indian Ocean and the coastal territories of South Africa. Access will be provided for creators, as well as students, the Creole diaspora or simply the public citoyens.es, open and curious about the cultures of the world, in order to generate new works resulting from these researches.

In order to bring together all the curious and creative people, working groups have been launched. Groups that you, readers, are invited to join. "Creole cultures / Kiltir Kreol / Cultures créoles" on these websites: