Memorialising indigenous independence AND settler reconciliation: Cadey Korson, ‘Nationalism and reconciliation in memorial landscapes: the commemoration of Jean-Marie Tjibaou in Kanaky/New Caledonia’, Journal of Historical Geography, 2016
Abstract: A politician, priest, academic, chief and freedom fighter, Jean-Marie Tjibaou (1936–1989) is one of the most prominent figures in New Caledonian history. How Tjibaou has been memorialized, and the implications of the way in which his legacy is commemorated, has received little analysis in the context of New Caledonia’s ongoing debate over sovereignty. Tjibaou was a political icon who promoted indigenous Kanak cultural cohesion and (re)definition as an essential step in the process of independence from France. Interviews, visual analysis and secondary sources were used to identify the extent to which Tjibaou’s views about Kanak identity, nationalism and reconciliation are presented in memorials dedicated to him. Together, the examples of anti-colonial Kanak national identity and reconciliation in these memorials exemplify the complexity of Tjibaou’s role in New Caledonian politics and reflect the broader changes in Kanak power and France’s reaction to the growing push for independence.
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