“Memory cannot but be common to all, each of us needing the other’s memory”.
“To bring memories together, causing some to be released by others is to open the paths to world relationships”. Edouard GLISSANT.
Mémorial ACTe will continue to contribute to the construction of a collective memory of slavery and to finally healing its abhorrent wounds and hurts, through historical awareness, values of tolerance and contemporary creation. Guadeloupe’s ambition is to use MACTe on an international level as a place for meeting and dialogue among all those who played a part in this dark history.
It is a place of encounter where Guadeloupians meet one another, the Caribbean and the rest of the world, a catalyst for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In a 1700 m² space, the Mémorial ACTe permanent exhibition takes visitors through the history of slavery, from ancient times to modern day. The exhibit comprises 37 didactic modules called “islands”, grouped into 6 “archipelagos” and a gallery of illustrious portraits marking the history of slavery and struggles for freedom. Between 2 and 4 hours are needed for a visit to admire, understand and be impacted by the artefacts, works, texts and other visual documents that make up this permanent exhibition. A short well focused visit is possible along the central walkway of the exhibition, which provides direct access to the archipelago and module that the visitor wishes to see. Audio guides are provided in six languages for comments on the display – French, creole, English, Spanish, German and Italian. To set up this permanent exhibition, the Regional Council of Guadeloupe acquired a collection over three years.
The Mémorial ACTe was inaugurated by the President of the French Republic in May 2015, as the Caribbean centre for expression and memory of the slave trade and slavery, also offers architectural features unique to the Caribbean region. This easily accessible pedagogical facility is built on the premises of the former Darboussier sugar factory.
This unmistakably modern exhibition integrates the most advanced technologies.
Open to everyone, it offers a guided journey back in time, to navigate from the making of the Americas to modern times, drifting through the triangular trade, the Code Noir, the abolitions and segregation.
A 2-hour visit to the permanent exhibition with a multi-lingual audio guide, followed by a walk along the Bayfront and up the Morne Mémoire walkway. Then, browse in the MACTe gift store, and to finish, take a rest and refresh at the bar-lounge in the main restaurant.
“Silver roots on a black box “: This is the architectural statement of the Mémorial ACTe building. The black box represents the base containing the wealth of knowledge of the past, and upon which part of the collective memory is built. The black granite face of the black box focuses on the quality of their treatment as well as the symbolic tribute to the victims of the slave trade. The material used is embedded with multiple flecks of gold quartz, representing the millions of souls who perished. This box is the physical support for the roots to develop in the form of a silver mesh. These roots are akin to a quest for origins, as evoked by the history of the slave trade. They suggest growth, the spark of life, movement. Like the roots of the strangler fig tree, can spread over impressive distances. These roots thus lend a refined, dynamic and unmistakably modern form to the building, signifying that the past helps us to better understand the present, to look towards the future
This building firmly imbedded in its territory stands as a well-founded commitment to denounce all forms of slavery, past and present, wherever they appear. It has all the most sophisticated features of a museum, but has much more to offer
The Council of Europe Museum Prize 2017 was awarded to Mémorial ACTe (MACTe), Caribbean centre for expressions and memory of the slave trade and slavery (Guadeloupe) on Friday 9th December 2016.
The MACTe was chosen from among the three candidates pre-selected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), at a meeting today in Paris. According to Adele Gambaro (Italy, ADLE), reporter on the Museum Prize, this “outstanding, exciting and innovative museum, matches exactly the Council of Europe criteria. Originally designed as a memorial, the MACTe has become not only a living and dynamic space for the commemoration of the slave trade, (a link between Africa, the Americas and Europe), but also for the celebration of the resilience of human beings. It invites tolerance and encourages creativity so as to open up new perspectives”.
The jury commended the museum’s founding principles, which aim to make the act of remembrance a means to fashion a new society, thus attempting to use intellectual resources for seriously weakening the social and societal consequences of slavery, such as racism, social exclusion, inequalities and other contemporary violations of human rights point for the local population.
Its inter-disciplinary approach includes the recruitment and training of local staff in order to instil a sense of belonging in the underprivileged district of Carénage. With its late opening hours, the museum has become a lively place, both a centre for the performing arts, and a gathering space for the local people.
Since 1977, the Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded each year to a museum offering a major contribution to the knowledge of European cultural heritage.
The winning museum receives a bronze statuette of Joan Miró’s “Woman with beautiful breasts”, which it keeps for one year, and a certificate. The award ceremony was held in Strasbourg in April 2017. The prize is awarded based on selection by the jury of the European Museum Forum, and is part of the European Museum Prize of the year. Recent winners are the European Centre for Solidarity in Gdansk, Poland (2016), MUCEM in Marseilles, France (2015) and the Baksi Museum in Turkey (2014).
|Other international prizes|
|Museum prize 2017||Council of Europe – December 2016|
|“Outstanding Heritage Site” Award 2016||(African Diaspora World Tourism Awards – August 2016)|
|Special prize||“Worldwide category Highly commended”|
|British Guild of Travel Writers Awards||novembre 2015|
|FINALIST for the Prix de l’étonnement touristique||Association French Tourism journalists, March 2016|
|2nd in the «Best Destination of the year»||Seatrade Cruise Awards, September 2015|
A friendly pricing policy
|Individual rate||Family PASS||Private group rate|
|(audio-guide included)||Price: 45€||(Association, Corporate and others)|
|Full price: 15€||(2 adults + 2 to 5 children||8 to 20 visitors:|
|Reduced rate: 10€||from the same family)||Full price 13€ /reduced price: 8.50€|
|Children : 5€||More than 20 visitors:|
|(permanent exhibition, not including||Full price: 12€ /reduced price: 8€|
|temporary and international exhibitions)|
Year PASS Standard rate: 35€
(Unlimited individual access to the permanent exhibition room only)
© 2021 MEMORIAL ACTe