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Posts tagged ‘one week in Guadeloupe’

Life of Gwada

How many subjects, bodies, faces, landscapes, situations I missed during my seven days in Guadeloupe. How many of them I tried to capture while driving around with the friends of Île du Monde on the whirling roads of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. Time’s up, looking forward for my return to you, Gwada. Many thanks to Josè, Stephanie, Daniel and his family for the exciting atmosphere during our stay on Guadeloupe.

Pedestrian crossing in Sainte-Rose

Street life in Pointe-à-Pitre

Our hats of Mare Gailard

Back from shopping in Beaumanoir

Funeral dress code in Staine-Anne

Running kid in Pointe-à-Pitre

Final thanks to the tree-frogs at 16°14’28.1″N 61°24’35.4″W – very welcome background music for my tropical nights.

 

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream
7. In need of protection
8. So lonely
9. Once we were
10. Caribbean grace
11. Resurrection will come
12. Art insurrection
13. Life of Gwada

Art insurrection

Funerary art, wall art, urban art. Every color gradient fits wall cracks, houses , graves. Sometimes, reality bends with fantasy in Guadeloupe

Rastafari ka players painted in Sainte-Anne

Giant house-graffiti in Pointe-à-Pitre

Kid in the box, Pointe-à-Pitre

At the bus stop, painted or real? in Saint-Anne

Exquisite black and white in Sainte-Anne cemetery

Big eyes of Pointe-à-Pitre

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream
7. In need of protection
8. So lonely
9. Once we were
10. Caribbean grace
11. Resurrection will come

Resurrection will come

The East side of Pointe-à-Pitre likely had a gorgeous past. Unluckily, grants are not sufficient today for the recover and renovation of its French colonial style. In the meantime, colorful design and graffiti decorate almost every wall of the city, up to the red-light district. Waiting for a new Renaissance.

Artistic decoration of rusty fences in Pointe-à-Pitre

[..]The department of Guad[..]executes[..]enovation of the equip[..], Pointe-à-Pitre

Work in progress in Pointe-à-Pitre

Grave graveyard in Saint-François cemetery

Old and new at Pointe-à-Pitre harbor front

Scary house in the red-light district of Pointe-à-Pitre

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream
7. In need of protection
8. So lonely
9. Once we were
10. Caribbean grace

Caribbean grace

Guadeloupe is music. Drums (ka) made of wood, plastic barrels, scrap parts; and lambi shells blown in the wind. Played in parks, at funerals, on graves and rooftops. The father of Gwo-ka (ka music) is Marcel Lollia, aka Vèlo from Pointe-à-Pitre: his statue is in the city center. Guadeloupe is also Indian music from the Nadron cerimonies and Cuban music, often played in Gwada dance clubs.

Monument to Marcel Lollia (Vélo), master of ka (drums) playing, Pointe-à-Pitre

Indian cultural week, Sainte-Anne

Ka players at a funeral, playing on the graves of the cemetery of Sainte-Anne

When a picture is not enough, play the movie and feel ka played on the rooftops of Saint-Anne cemetery graves

Ka players and dancer, Sainte-Anne

Drummers, Indian week festival in Saint-Anne

Dancing club in Sainte-Rose

When a picture is not enough, play the movie and feel Cuba in Guadeloupe

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream
7. In need of protection
8. So lonely
9. Once we were

Once we were

Past present, present past. Every house, shell, statue reminds the history of Guadeloupe. Either houses or busts of Victor Schœlcher, the French slavery abolitionist. Or lambi shells decorating the graves of fishermen and poor people, when even bath tiles are too expensive.

House renovation, Pointe-à-Pitre

Boat spare parts, harbor of Saint-François

Priest and graves at Sainte-Anne cemetery

Barred house, Sainte-Anne

Lambi shells decorate the graves of poor people at the cemetery of Saint-François

The French slavery abolitionist Victor Schœlcher, Sainte-Anne

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream
7. In need of protection
8. So lonely

So lonely

Lost in the cemetery of Saint-Anne. Wandering in the statue-less Place de la Victoire (stage to a guillotine during the French revolution) or staring at the burned down houses of Point-à-Pitre. On the busy motorways from Grande-Terre to Basse-Terre. Or just watching the sunset from Saint-François harbor. Moments of loneliness.

Place de la Victoire, Pointe-à-Pitre

Cemetery of Sainte-Anne

Fishermen at the harbor, Saint-François

(one of) burned house in downtown, Pointe-à-Pitre,

Reseller (of ?), motorway towards Sainte-Rose

Solo love, graffiti, Pointe-à-Pitre

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream
7. In need of protection

In need of protection

Protection for human rights, bio-diversity, history and tradition. Protection is a word with several meanings in Guadeloupe. A recent history of blood shed to fight slavery and of worker immigration from all over the world, well documented in the museum Memorial ACTe, is at the base of Gwada modern society.

Entrance to the red-light district, Pointe-à-Pitre

The Memorial ACTe, part of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project, Pointe-à-Pitre

Sunny umbrellas of Pointe-à-Pitre

A vanilla plant climbing an incense tree in the jungle of Sainte-Rose

Vanilla plants, incense trees, termite nest, singing cicadas… the delicate network of a tropical jungle

Waiting for the bus at Morne-à-l’Eau

The Cathedral Saint Pierre et Saint Paul , Pointe-à-Pitre

Coconut shop on the motorway, Les Abymes,

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage
6. I had a dream

I had a dream

Guadeloupe standard of living is among the highest in the eastern Caribbean. Bananas and sugarcane are the principal cash crops. Tourism is one of the strongest sources of income. Still, high prices due to the protected French market are among the causes for the weak economic improvement of the last decades. Guadeloupe is a place of contrasts, where pockets of poverty and neglected infrastructures are interspersed between amazing nature and friendly people.

Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” adapted to time and place, Pointe-à-Pitre

(Delicious) coconut sorbet must give way to a tourist bus at La pointe des châteaux

Colorful tiles for the graves of Saint-Francois

Commercial district of Pointe-à-Pitre

Banana market in the outskirts of Pointe-à-Pitre

Beach of Raisins Clairs, Saint-François

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Caribbean intangible cultural heritage
5. Guadeloupe on stage

Guadeloupe on stage

Colorful dresses and graceful silhouettes. In the background the exotic, Caribbean landscapes. A week on Guadeloupe surprises for its cultural diversity and lively ancient traditions. A historic representation of the Indian Ramayana myth welcomed me the day I landed. Brilliant graffiti cover walls and towns of the island. Wild sea shores and vivid sunsets: everything plays life on stage in Gwada.

Players and families in the backstage of the Indian week of culture in Sainte-Anne

Top left: ashes ceremony before Ramayana representation. Top right: the wise men from the mountain. Bottom left: Wedding ceremony. Bottom right: hunting demons

We love Guadeloupe (the Caribbean Butterfly) , graffiti in the town of Sainte-Anne

The cinema theater “La Renaissance” of Pointe-à-Pitre, opened in 1920, now closed

The rocky beach of Anse à Plume

Moving graffiti in Pointe-à-Pitre

Nights fall early in the Caribbeans, 5:30pm in Sainte-Anne

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole
4. Gwada intangible cultural heritage

Gwada intangible cultural heritage

Intangible Cultural Heritage means the skills that communities recognize as part of their cultural identity. The Indian community on Guadeloupe is strong of 40,000 people. Most of them are descendant of those Indian workers that were offered a job on the island by the French state over two hundred years ago. After the abolition of slavery in 1794, the demand for workers on sugar cane, rum distillation, tobacco and coffee fields strongly increased in Guadeloupe. A solid migration from India, Vietnam and Lebanon have been supporting local productions from then on. The immigrants who chose to further stay in Guadeloupe maintained their cultural identity and mixed it with others, French continental included. Nowadays food, music and folklore on Guadeloupe are the result of this fusion.

Election of Guadeloupe Miss Teen of India, Schoelcher square, Sainte-Anne

Continental French craftsmen contribute to keeping traditions alive on Gwada: Cédric Coutellier runs a biological vanilla plantation in the tropical jungle near Sainte-Rose. Vanilla plants are epifite, meaning they climb over other tree stems to gain a place in the sun. Front right of Cedric and behind him each tree is climbed by one or more vanilla plants. Vanilla pods (still green) are in hist right hand.

Cédric Coutellier and his vanilla plantation in the tropical jungle, Sainte-Rose

Gwada fishermen still use traditional cages, in addition to modern fishing nets for catching their daily preys.

A fisherman in Saint-François harbor with modern (right) and traditional (left) nets/cages

At funeral ceremonies, as well as on the streets of Sainte-Anne it is not rare listening to the sound of Lambi (conch shells), blown by local players.

A Lambi (shell) player, cemetery of Sainte-Anne

When you pass by La pointe des châteaux don’t miss the local craftsmanship of palm tree hats. Jordan crafts also bowls and Frigatebirds made of the same leaf material. It will not stay green, but it will still look gorgeous.

A maker of traditional woven hats, La pointe des châteaux

If you are a photographer, it is worth learning a couple of words in French for shooting iconic pictures with locals. Je suis italien. Je suis photographe. Je voudrais faire une photo de vous. Et voilà, here is my knowledge of French language.

Painters, Sainte-Anne cemetery

The manioc ants at the feet of Cédric Coutellier in the jungle of Sainte-Rose

Manioc ants, tropical jungle, Sainte-Rose

Click each picture to zoom in.

Previous and last episodes:

1. My lady of Guadeloupe
2. Sea life of Gwada (Guadeloupe)
3. La Métropole

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