just finished reading « Histoire de Madagascar : La construction d’une Nation » a collaborative recap’ of the country’s complex history. It is more of a collection of the best written scholars’ thesis from 19th century until 2017. it’s quite refreshing and very well documented since we had near to zero books of this sort about the country 1.
from someone like me who went to french school all her life this is very much of a novelty. we had no Malagasy education at all throughout our 13 years at the Lycée Français. apart from this time in CM2 when a very venturesome teacher asked each one of us about our origins especially our casts…big mistake…big taboo. fastforward 2020. after a lengthy reading of all Raombana’s related works, I totally understand our parents’ anger. a teacher, a foreigner, asking kids out of the blue about something not yet resolved by previous generations. It’s unsetlling at the very least, annoying because we’re still left clueless and of course we should feel ashamed of this recent past we have not yet faced. she should have known better. being a teacher and all. we on our side are so not ready at all 2.
next Saturday I ask Ny Rado Andrianamasimanana a very smart young man in his field (History so to say) to formally educate my kids. to give them the knowledge they deserve. I don’t want them to miss out on their origins. on what made this country a great and proud one despite nowadays abject poverty and consequential social injustices. afterwards they’ll do whatever they want. they will be allowed to judge us. we will only give them tools, datas, names, dates, places, who did what to whom, no lies, only the empirical, the scientifically verified truth 3.
no more stories.
they need this.
we all need this.
also I went on to (finally) watch Hamilton the Broadway Show on Disney Plus. of course I am about to rewatch it for the 3rd time this evening.
1 there is something #greatawesomesmartandrevolutionary happening at the Musée de la Photo since the beginning of this great adventure. I friended Helihanta Rajaonarison 2 years ago . We met at the very beautifully Institut Pasteur garden at Avaradoha. very few of those gardens are preserved in town by the way. we should all give a look, a hand, anything to Helihanta’s amazing works.
2 You should read Mose Njo, all he writes I recommend wholeheartly, especially this one « La notion du temps à Madagascar: ou pourquoi le Malgache EST généralement en retard (et pourquoi c’est normal) et pourquoi le Japonais ÉTAIT généralement en retard (et pourquoi c’était normal avant, mais que ça ne l’est plus maintenant) » https://medium.com/@mosenjo/la-notion-du-temps-%C3%A0-madagascar-ou-pourquoi-le-malgache-est-g%C3%A9n%C3%A9ralement-en-retard-et-pourquoi-cbca2f5bf601 . I feel like we missed out on something for a long time and just woke up or are about to wake up from this nightmare we dig ourselves into.
3 along with the very talented Ando from https://www.facebook.com/blaogyvoniary and Mose Njo (him again) we have been planning to start a family friendly workshop around Malagasy speaking recalling/teaching our country’s Past to our children and…to ourselves. maybe it’s about time don’t you think?