i came all the way to the south of france to reconnect with my dad's 3 siblings, whom i barely know, because they (illegally) migrated to marseille in the late-80s and early-90s, in search of a better life (which they never really found). in digging into one of aunt's old photo albums, i found this picture.
this is my great-grandmother. i don't know much about her other than she was a slave woman who worked in sugarcane plantations in the south of the island. she probably came to the island on a ship from madagascar or the eastern coast of africa.
she set up home with an indian man who had come to the island as an indentured worker. they had two daughters, one of whom was my grand-mother (my father's mother). rumour has it that my great-grandfather crumbled under the pressure of plantation work and became increasingly violent towards his family. one day, he tried to kill my great-grandmother with a machete, after which she ran away from him with her two daughters. many years later, she married again and had more children with another man who was also a "kréol" (i.e. a freed slave). i don't even know this woman's name, but i know she had a very long life and lived way into the 1980s (while my own grandmother, whom i have also never known, died an untimely death in the 1960s). #ancestraljourneys #transtravels #colonialhistory #slavehistory #indenturehistory #mauritianhistory #plantationisland #ancestors #ancestries #mauritius #slave #slavery #indenture #haunting #loss #grief #colonialtrauma #healing #transmauritius