Enduring Mauritius and changing Marseille
Insights into race and culture from an island still haunted by its slaveholding history, and a city trying to escape its 'edgy, seedy' image to become a stronghold of the arts.
Pascale Harter introduces personal insights from correspondents and writers around the world. Today, stories from two very different places both famous for their multi-cultural, multi-coloured, polyglot populations and their thriving trade links.
Lorraine Mallinder explores why Mauritius is still struggling with memories - and attitudes - of its slave-holding past, and why old prejudices may be lingering on. Some white Franco-Mauritians complain they feel culturally marginalised - while a recent governmental commission said discrimination against darker-skinned Creoles, rooted in racism against Africans, is still rampant. Mick Webb is in the Mediterranean port of Marseille, which is hoping for - and betting billions of euros on - a change in its image after its time as European Capital of Culture 2013. It's often a tough city - both crime and unemployment are high - and sometimes a scary one for outsiders. But can grand artistic projects alone change that? Mick finds the city's unique, scrappy character is still to be felt on the streets - even the freshly-paved ones.