DOCU.  Who are "The last Blancs-Matignon of Guadeloupe"?

DOCU. Who are “The last Blancs-Matignon of Guadeloupe”?

The “Blancs-Matignon”, although an integral part of Guadeloupean society, remain relatively unknown. What is their origin ? How have they evolved over time? Who are they today? This documentary, directed by Michel Reinette and Mariette Monpierre lifts the veil on this community, to go from myth to reality.

Behind this name, “Blanc Matignon”, which seems to designate part of the white element of the population of Guadeloupe, the directors wanted to tell a human adventure engendered by the colonial era in the West Indies and in Guadeloupe in particular.

Michel Reinette and Mariette Monpierre take us to the heart of a community, present in the Guadeloupe archipelago since the 18e century and which, because it did not mix (or very little) with the other components of local society, stood out.

This community still exists today and its members have a stronghold, located on the territory of the commune of Moule, about forty kilometers from Pointe-à-Pitre, in the Grands Fonds region.


The Blancs-Matignon live in the Grands-Fonds region



©Axe Sud Production

Fleeing the repression against the slave owners, after the first abolition of 1794, these former colonists of European origin withdrew into a steep and difficult to access region.

The first of them, Leonard Matignon says “The Creuse”, gave his name to all those who accompanied and followed him. They made roots and their descendants do not go unnoticed.

The last Blancs-Matignon from Guadeloupe

Extract from a civil status certificate concerning Léonard Matignon



©Axe Sud Production

Today, apart from their origin and the color of their skin, these “Blancs-Matignon” do not have much in common with the Békés of Martinique or the Blancs pays de Guadeloupe, often of noble descent, large landowners landowners, who to this day have a central role in the economy of the West Indies.

Moreover, the “Blancs-Matignon” are designated as “little whites “. For more than two centuries, they have lived isolated and poor, in complete discretion, which has encouraged fantasies about their identity. They remain unknown and secret of reputation.

The last Blancs-Matignon from Guadeloupe

Jocelyn Akwaba Matignon and Estelle-Sarah Bulle have a “Blanc-Matignon” parent in common.



©Axe Sud Production

The personal stories of Jocelyn Akwaba Matignon and Estelle Sarah Bulle are intimately linked to Blancs-Matignon. The documentary filmmakers rely on these two smugglers to “approach” the community with them.

The artist-painter Jocelyn Akwaba Matignon comes from this community, through her mother; his father was a black man from Pointe-à-Pitre.

The last Blancs-Matignon

Jocelyn Akwaba Matignon has lunch with her uncle Pierre-Jude Boucher, her mother’s brother



©Axe Sud Production

The writer, Estelle-Sarah Bulle, in her first novel “Where the Dogs Bark by the Tail” evokes the Grands Fonds and his grandmother Estelle-Eulalie whose rhizomes are in the region. She goes in search of photos and information on this “Blanc-Matignon” grandmother whom she did not know.

The last Blancs-Matignon

Estelle-Sarah Bulle while visiting her aunt Adose hopes to find information about her grandmother



©Axe Sud Production

Achievement : Michel Reinette and Mariette Monpierre
Narrative : Greg Germain
Duration : 52 mins
Production : Ax Sud, with the participation of France Télévisions
2022

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