Houssart, M. & Croucher, R. (2016). Ethnicity and labour in Mauritius: Assessing a cinematic account. Labor History,58(4), 1-16. United Kingdom: Routledge. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/0023656X.2017.1255546
We assess the sole substantial film documenting the history of socio-economic relations in Mauritius, a history stamped by long experiences of slavery and bonded labour. We argue that it represents an important crystallisation of a triumphalist ethnic interpretation of Mauritian history. We show the filmic devices used to underline the ethnic narrative and the marginalisation of slave descendants’ voices. We demonstrate that the film ignores the early and strong development of values of equity across racial groups. It obscures the linked creation of a significant labour movement and its contribution to Mauritian society in securing the degree of equitable success which the film makers celebrate.
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