Home > Catalogue > Il Tolomeo > 24 | 2022 > La chanson comme moyen de diffusion de la culture et de la tragédie de l’archipel des Chagos

La chanson comme moyen de diffusion de la culture et de la tragédie de l’archipel des Chagos

Bruno Cunniah    University of Mauritius, Mauritius    



Between 1965 and 1973, the United States and Great Britain were going to conceive and execute a plan which involved the deportation of about two thousand islanders to set up a military base on the island of Diego Garcia located right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Beyond the strategic, political and financial stakes, only one form of cultural practices managed to capture the joys, the pain and the hopes of that population: the ségas and the çantés. Indeed, the musical culture became the medium of choice of a then mostly illiterate population. Hence, all the songs of the Chagos shared a common heritage: the permanent evocation of the lost islands. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to show how the collective imagination of the exiled population is essentially portrayed in songs that initially referred to everyday life in their former place of abode. Once the spoliation process came into effect, the songs started to focus on a return to a fantasy island which with time has acquired mythical overtones.

Dec. 19, 2022
Sept. 28, 2022
June 20, 2022

Keywords: spoliationMusicpopular cultureDiego Garciaexile

Copyright: © 2022 Bruno Cunniah. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.