NÈGÈS MAWON ? WHY ?
« Creole child that still lives within me, you will be born free and rebellious, or you will not be born at all.»
These are the last words of Lisette, the main character of Evelyne Trouillot’s novel “The Infamous Rosalie” when she fled the plantation where she was held in slavery to offer freedom to her child. The day she becomes a maroon.
Naming our feminist organization “NÈGÈS MAWON” frames it within an impulse identified by historians such as Edner Brutus and Jean Fouchard, who defined marooning as a phenomenon of permanent dissent, which allowed the culmination of the Haitian Revolution. Our feminist struggle is part of the legacy and ideals of justice and freedom brought about by the revolution of 1804. Our feminist struggle is also grounded in the struggles of women around the world who came before us and of which we are the heirs. It amplifies today the struggles of our sisters around the globe for the advancement of women’s movements.
We’re reclaiming the symbol of the maroon, that symbol of freedom, rebellion, revolt, thirst for justice and vitality, to express, we young women of today, our fight against all forms of violence, discrimination, oppression, marginalization or exclusion that are anchored in patriarchy. We’ve feminized this symbol to protest against the invisibilization, minimization or distortion of women’s contribution to our nation’s and world history.
NÈGÈS MAWON, to pay tribute to all those women warriors who forged this nation for with their blood, sweat and lives since 1492. NÈGÈS MAWON, to be the worthy heirs of these heroines that history remembers but also those that history has forgotten, has hidden.
NÈGÈS MAWON, so that our struggle can keep alive those who have cried out for centuries, on our soil but also all over the world: “FREEDOM OR DEATH”.