March 22nd 2010
Maison des civilisations et de l’unité réunionnaise
You have heard about the project of Maison des civilisations et de l’unité réunionnaise. Some of you have accepted to support it from the beginning, others have been invited to give a conference in Reunion Island, others have contributed to its scientific program… All of you have, at one point or another, let us know that you consider the project to be innovating, creative, and opening new grounds.
This is why we appeal to you today. There is an emergency! Yesterday, the Conservative candidate who won the elections for the Regional Council declared upon recognizing his victory: “My first decision will be to put an end to the MCUR project!” Six years of intensive work, of public educative actions, of valorization of vernacular practices, of current projects of research are threatened to be cancelled for ideological reasons.
The objectives of the MCUR project are to give equal treatment to the civilizations from which the Reunionnese come from, to valorize vernacular practices, to offer a space for encounters and debates, a contact-zone for exchanges, creativity, and open discussion. The Conservative leader has offered no argument against these objectives.
The threat is real.
We ask you to urgently protest against this decision by sending to the French Prime Minister with cc to the Minister of Culture, the Minister of National Education, the European Community, the Prefect of Reunion Island and the future president of the Regional Council the following letter, with your name, function and country:
We have learned that the MCUR project is threatened to be cancelled by the newly elected president of Reunion Island Regional Council. We will be extremely surprised that the government of the French Republic would support such a decision. Cultural centers are, in our times, sites of debates, exchanges, mixing, multiculturalism and citizenship.
We know the work of the scientific and cultural team of the MCUR led by Françoise Vergès, the quality of its work, its objectivity, its openness to new cultural forms. It has been instrumental for the inscription of maloya to the World Intangible Heritage list. We cannot believe that, when everywhere cultural center are proving to be sites of creativity, of economic development, of research, you will allow the MCUR to be cancelled and that you will agree to the denial of twenty young Reunionnese’s work and commitment.
Prime Minister, François FILLON : http://www.gouvernement.fr/premier-ministre/ecrire
Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric MITTERRAND:
Minister of National Education, Luc CHAYEL: http://men.public.lu/functions/contact/index.php
Prefect of Reunion Island, M. LALANDE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Region Reunion Regional Council: email@example.com