an information campaign carried out in F

Raising citizens’ awareness of the names of places in public space is the aim of the “Let’s decolonize public space” campaign launched by a cosmetics company. An operation in collaboration with three associations, including Memories and Shares, from 8 to 15 June.

For us, the decolonization of public space means making it a truly democratic space, a space that respects the sensitivity, the conscience of those who today divide our cities, and who at that time, especially colonial ones, were secluded in the overseas territories or in Africa, but who now live in the cities and demand that public space be discussed and that new symbolic spaces be added that respect the memory of the crimes against humanity that we are aware of today. “explains Karfa Diallo, founder of Memories and Shares.

We really wanted to campaign with these associations, and it was they who chose the theme of decolonization of public space

Lush group

This kind of campaign is nothing new for the cosmetics group Lush. The English company has since its inception been accustomed to launching this type of operation in collaboration with associations. A number of products are also dedicated to this, products if receipts (excl. VAT) are donated to the associations.

This will allow them to have the means to carry out their educational work, it really is ours hope “, describes the founder of Memories and Shares. This will in particular help fund” The House Against Slavery “, a social and urban project carried out by this association.

“Let’s decolonize public space” is therefore the brand’s new campaign in collaboration with Mémoires et Partages, but also with Change ASBL, a Belgian association, and Lëtz Rise Up, a Luxembourg association. According to the English cosmetics company, “through discussions with the associations, we told ourselves that we need to do a campaign together to get more impact, and it was built quite naturally. (…) Our goal is to put the topic on the front of the stage and help as best we can with our funds and our resources.

What we actually expect is more visibility, at European level and, of course, at national level. (…) Visibility is also a company that in principle must make money, regardless of whether it chooses to defend cases in that way.

Karfa Diallo

For Karfa Diallo,the customers of this brand are not necessarily in phase, or do not know these associative struggles, so for us it was essential (…) and that is why we chose to accompany them and it also provided an opportunity to touch new audiences , as we were ‘when not before’.

On the occasion of this campaign, the three associations have each launched their own collection of signatures. For the Belgian association Change ASBL, this relates to greater visibility of the statue of King Leopold II in Belgium to highlight its role in the colonial history of his country. For the Luxembourg association Lëtz Rise Up, she wants to remove the memorial to Nicola Cito, a railway engineer, to replace it with a memorial plaque commemorating the 5,000 Congolese workers who died during the construction of the railway of iron as he was builder.

The Memories and Shares request asks the VINCI group to change the name of the motorway toll “la negresse” next to Biarritz, as well as the signs naming it that way. For a few years we have been working in the Basque Country, which bears many traces of the history of slavery, about the black slave trade, but which ignores it. “says Karfa Diallo.

In Biarritz, an entire district is called “la nègresse”, with commercial companies showing this name. (…) When you are a conscious person in the 21st century, you can not help but be shocked.

Petitions which will be available directly in the shops of the English brand. We have posters with a QR code and it will refer to the petitions and more resources available. (…) Our challenge is to expand the reinforcement of these requests and increase their visibility “explains the British group.

The association Memories and Shares has for several years now tried to increase public attention so that the name “negress” disappears from the city of Biarritz. The association also stood out during the G7 summit in 2019, with an information campaign, which resulted in its participating members being arrested.

After all, work pays off, and in this part of the Basque city, a bakery and café have changed their name and given up “négresse” and “négros”. Similarly, the city station is no longer called a Negro. Men, “the station, in the signage, is indicated everywhere, “ignore parker” Karfa Diallo remarks bitterly.

We now have an appeal to the Administrative Court, so the latter decides that the name of this district is a racist, stigmatizing, humiliating name that does not respect the memory of slavery, the slave trade and racism “, beats the founder of Memories and Shares. A battle that continues through this collaboration with the English cosmetics company that launched this campaign and a petition, what we are proposing is a symbolic substitute(…) that all of this helps to further democratize our society “ends Karfa Diallo.

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