"The Strange Story of Furcy Madeleine (1786-1856)"
Videos of the exhibition

Organised by the Villèle Historical Museum, in partnership with the Departmental Archives of Reunion Island, this exhibition retraces the unique history of a slave called Furcy.

Research into Furcy’s story

This exhibition is the culmination of research work carried out by anthropologist and historian Gilles Gérard, who wrote the script.
It is also based on the work of Sue Peabody, an American historian and academic, author of Madeleine’s Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies and of researcher Jérémy Boutier, author of a thesis entitled La question de l’assimilation politico-juridique de La Réunion à la métropole, 1815-1906 (Université d’Aix-Marseille) and of several articles on Furcy.

The challenges of this exhibition

The aim of the exhibition is to use all available sources to give an insight into the unique, prodigious and complex life of Furcy, even if it means re-establishing facts and breaking down a few preconceptions: he was in fact not a militant abolitionist, and would end up with his own slaves, living the rest of his life in relative opulence.
It also aims to place the strange story of Furcy in the context of the respective colonial societies of Bourbon Island and Mauritius and to put the spotlight on Furcy himself, correcting history’s often misconceived representations of him.

Contemporary resonances of the Furcy case

In Reunion Island, Furcy’s story may have been revealed to us through the work of historian Hubert Gerbeau in 1990, but it wasn’t until Sophie Bazin and Johary Ravaloson (alias Arius and Mary Batiskaf) created Liberté Plastik back in 1998 that Furcy became a symbol of the fight for freedom.
The publication of Mohammed Aïssaoui’s book, L’affaire de l’esclave Furcy, (Prix Renaudot 2010), is another element to be taken into account to understand the appearance in the 2000s of the collective movement Libèr nout’ Furcy, (Free Our Furcy) and the emergence of various creations by artists from here and abroad: Hassane Kouyaté’s play L’affaire de l’esclave Furcy, Fer6 by Francky Lauret and Erick Isana, the draft of an animated film by Laurent Médéa, the song L’or de Furcy by musician Kaf Malbar, or the sculpture by Marco Ah Kiem at the Barachois in Saint-Denis.

Liberté Plastik. Arius et Mary Batiskaf. 1998

L’affaire de l’esclave Furcy, Mohammed Aïssaoui, 2010

L’affaire de l’esclave Furcy, mise en scène d’Hassane Kassi Kouyaté et Patrick Le Mauff, 2013

LorDeFurcy, Kaf Malbar, 2014

L’affaire de l’esclave Furcy. Tiktak Production. 2015

Fer6. Texte de Francky Lauret ; interpété par Érick Isana. 2016

Furcy. Sculpture réalisée par Marco Ah-Kiem. 2018

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