Every year, during France’s national day of remembrance of the slave trade, slavery and its abolition, the municipality of Nantes works with different associations and institutions to offer a commemorative ceremony and cultural agenda.
The aim is to recognize and share the different histories that exist, and mobilize young people to continue, particularly in the fight for human rights in our present-day world.
This commemorative ceremony is structured around several events, each with their own strong, symbolic value:
– a tribute to the victims of the slave trade and slavery, by throwing of flowers into the Loire;
– political discussions focusing on the importance of memorials and their extension into civic activism, and current-day struggles against discrimination;
– a guest’s first-hand account of their fight against discrimination through his/her actions;
– an expression of youth engaged in civic activities;
– a concert of slave liberation songs.
Throughout the month of May, a cultural program exists in parallel to this ceremony, entitled “Mois des mémoires” (“Month of Memorials”) by the Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage. It includes meetings, exhibitions, tours, plays, concerts, and artistic events organized by various partners.
Guests of honor since 2010
2010 Yanick Lahens, essayist and novelist
2011 Christiane Taubira
2012 Léonora Miano, novelist, essayist, composer, and performer
2013 Carole Alston, singer and dancer
2014 Frankétienne, Haitian poet, playwright, and painter
2015 Angela Davis
2016 Isabelle Boni-Claverie, screenwriter and director
2017 Gerty Dambury, playwright, short story author, poet, novelist, actress, director
2018 Patrick Chamoiseaun, Abd al Malick
2019 Christiane Taubira (cancelled)