Ethnicity and labour in Mauritius: assessing a cinematic account


Houssart, M. and Croucher, R. 2017. Ethnicity and labour in Mauritius: assessing a cinematic account. Labor History. 58 (4), pp. 490-505.
TitleEthnicity and labour in Mauritius: assessing a cinematic account
AuthorsHoussart, M. and Croucher, R.

We assess the sole substantial film documenting the history of socio-economic relations in Mauritius, a history stamped by long experiences of slavery and bonded labour. We argue that it represents an important crystallisation of a triumphalist ethnic interpretation of Mauritian history. We show the filmic devices used to underline the ethnic narrative and the marginalisation of slave descendants’ voices. We demonstrate that the film ignores the early and strong development of values of equity across racial groups. It obscures the linked creation of a significant labour movement and its contribution to Mauritian society in securing the degree of equitable success which the film makers celebrate.

JournalLabor History
Publication dates
Online05 Dec 2016
Print08 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Nov 2016
Accepted03 Oct 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Labor History on 05/12/2016, available online:

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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