The Caribbean Identity

1747 Words7 Pages
Living in a “post-colonial” Martinique, still legally a department of the French Republic around forty-two hundred miles away, Édouard Glissant explores the Caribbean identity in the face of invisible modes of domination. While considering the history of Martinique, it is evident that the island is still a colony of France due to economic and cultural domination despite the supposed political equality as a department of France, especially given that this political equality has done little to alter the societal landscape of the island. Glissant asserts through investigation of historical, theoretical, and fictional discourses that in order for Martiniquais to construct an independent identity, one must reject not only the tenets for identity construction in the colonial discourse but also reject the colonial discourse entirely. For Glissant, this rejection of colonial discourse results in creolizations which are grounded in lived experience and cross-cultural exchange, and this discourse promotes a relational identity, one which includes connectivity and unpredictability and challenges universalist conceptions of identity. Glissant frames these ideas in the terms of Opacity and Transparency. Opacity, as Glissant uses this term, serves as an ontological self-defense of particulars against an all-encompassing Sameness, particularly in regard to linguistic, cultural, and identarian processes. Transparency, which Glissant derides while noting that the need for it remains,

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