video, 50 min.
In 2009, director and filmmaker Manthia Diawara
joined the poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928–2011) on his journey across the Atlantic while traveling from South Hampton, UK to Brooklyn, US and then to Martinique, Glissant’s native home. Registered on camera, the enduring and enthralling conversations together form an affectionate account of thought, profound and inspiring, arguing forcefully for “one world in relation” that would move us beyond the rigid, stereotyped thinking in categories defined by identity and ethnicity. In parallel, this maneuver could shed new light on the meanings of globalization, chaos, violence, equality, and justice. Combining poetry with philosophy, Glissant, undoubtedly one of the most important thinkers of our time, shapes his ideas according to a poetics of multiplicity—a fragmentary theory of worldwide relationships. Relation, as he elaborates on in his writings, is not that which bridges “this” to “that.” Rather, it is a space that connects “everything with everything.” Such “archipelagic” intertwining of people and the roots of ideas should have no place for hegemonies; instead, it allows for a respectful mixing of cultures while preserving their diversity and heterogeneity. Glissant distinguishes a possibility where our differences no longer point towards irreconcilability, but on the contrary—to what relates us—and what makes our being together both complex and creative.