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Accepted Paper:

'Being a Model for the World': Performing Creoleness in La Reunion  
David Picard (University of Lausanne)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

I shall argue here that concepts of Creoleness are used both to formulate an ethics of modern time and mobility, and to form social realities whose experience, among others through tourism, brings this very ethics alive. Creoleness presents itself as a powerful allegory to think about time in terms of a linear process, as 'history' emanating in an imaginary point of origin, and leading towards a state of increasing melange and 'creolisation'. Through a historical and ethnographic study in the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, I will show how the island and islanders were made to inhabit and ultimately to perform this allegory as a means to participate in a global modernity. Through the particular focus on a recent museum project, the article will point to the ambivalences underlying this new sign-economy within which facets of the islanders' everyday life are elevated as to be or become a 'model for the world'.

Panel W116
Rites, rights and routes: imaginaries of belonging in a mobile world
  Session 1