Tourist Attraction in Pointe-à-Pitre: Mémorial ACTe
The ACTe Memorial or the "Caribbean Center for Expressions and Memories of Trafficking and Slavery" is a memorial located at the port of Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, at the site of the former Darboussier sugar mill. Initiated by the President of the Regional Council Victorin Lurel and the Region of Guadalupe on the proposal of the International Committee of the Black Peoples (CIPN), ACTe Memorial has the original ambition of creating a place dedicated to the collective memory of slavery and trafficking, open to the contemporary world . It is the most ambitious place of memory devoted to slavery. The ACTe Memorial was born under the impetus of the International Committee of the Black Peoples, and became reality thanks to the region of Guadalupe. The idea of a "Caribbean museum of slavery and slave trade" appeared in 1998. In 2007, President Jacques Chirac entrusted the writer Édouard Glissant with the mission of creating a national center dedicated to trafficking and slavery, which he planned establish in Paris. The idea is abandoned by President Nicolas Sarkozy, against the idea of repentance. The project is finally taken over by the president of the Guadalupe region, Victorin Lurel. On October 26, 2004, regional president Victorin Lurel proposed to create a memorial on the slave trade and slavery. In 2005, the Scientific Committee was created to clarify the contours of the scientific project under the authority of Professor Jacques Adelaïde-Merlande. The project was validated in May 2007 by the Scientific Committee, the Steering Committee and the Regional Assembly. On the occasion of the national commemoration of the abolition of slavery, President François Hollande inaugurated the Memorial on May 10, 2015, in the presence of the Haitian Heads of State (Michel Martelly), Senegal (Macky Sall), Mali (Ibrahim Boubacar Keita ) and Benin (Thomas Boni Yayi). This building has a mineral facade (like that of the MuCEM of Marseille) with a silver steel interlacing covering a set of black granite with quartz chips. The building's architecture is based on the concept of silver roots in a black box: the silver roots that surpass the building represent millions of missing souls clinging to a black box. These roots refer to those of the cursed fig tree, which thrives in the closing of ruins, protecting them from annihilation. These roots have become "a mesh that protects a case, but allows designing for the future," says Pascal Berthelot. These roots invoke the search for origins and thus suggest an impetus, a growth, a movement to radiate in the world. By protecting the black box, they are the guarantor of memory. The black box houses the permanent exhibition and therefore represents the basis containing the wealth that constitutes the knowledge of the past and in which the collective memory is partially constructed. The black quartz façade of this box is a tribute to the victims of the slave trade and slavery, the quartz constellation that represents the millions of missing souls.