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Seychelles to host major conference on Creole studies

universityThe Comité International d’Études Créoles (CIEC) in collaboration with the University of Seychelles (UniSey) are gearing up to host the 16th International Creole Studies colloquium.

The colloquium will see over more than a 100 Creole researchers, scholars, anthropologists and linguists from various countries gather at the local university in Anse Royale from October 28 to November 3.

These specialists hail from universities and research facilities in Europe such as France and The Netherlands, as well as from countries where their Creole is mainly based on the French lexical such as Mauritius, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Louisiana (USA) and Haiti.

The event is expected to coincide with the celebration of Seychelles’ 33rd Festival Kreol and will be organised under the theme “Creole Worlds, Creole Languages, Development: Educational, Cultural and Economic Challenges”.

It was the President of the CIEC, Professor Georges Daniel Veronique, who revealed the colloquium’s theme during a press conference, alongside the principal secretary for culture Cecile Kalebi, chief executive of the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (Cinea) Galen Bresson, and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Development at the UniSey Joelle Perreau.

“The symposium will consist of various individual presentations where the researchers will present their papers for discussion,” Professor Daniel Veronique explained.

“It will also include plenaries, workshops and, of course, cultural programmes that will complement the academic and scientific.”

The professor further stated that the colloquium — which has been conducted for the past fifty years at regular intervals — is important because it is a unique opportunity for all Creole specialists to meet and exchange ideas.

It is also an occasion for the CIEC researchers and “Creolistes” (those who are interested in Creole languages, who loves and defends Creole) to discuss and evaluate the future of Creole studies.

He also made note that it is not the first time that Seychelles hosts the International Creole Studies colloquium. Indeed Seychelles had the honour of organising the second edition of the colloquium in 1979 following the first edition held in Nice, France.

“Seychelles played an important role in CIEC history because it was in that second colloquium that we saw the participation of many Creole speakers. Moreover Seychelles is one of the first countries in the world to have given Creole its proper status as a language, so it is fit that we are back here again.”

On his part, Mr Bresson said that Cinea, the agency mandated to organise Festival Kreol, welcomes this initiative.

“The theme for the 2017 Creole Festival was ‘Proud of Our Identity’ and the committee has chosen to keep with this theme for 2018. The colloquium henceforth comes at the opportune moment when we should educate our people to not be scared to show off our language and our culture,” Mr Bresson added.

“We should no longer believe that our language and tradition is inferior to others. The world has come to us to tell us to be proud of what we are,” he concluded.

Additionally PS Kalebi stated that the colloquium comes at the specific time where her department is reviewing the country’s cultural policies.

Dean Perreau, on her side, stated that UniSey has a lot of logistics to prepare before the colloquium starts in October.

Source : Seychelles NATION

Developers: Cyberwave