Forget Me Not is a project conceived and developed by the association Objet Témoin ASBL based in Brussels, Belgium. We are very happy to announce that we have been able to federate a network of credible and deserving international associative, private and public actors.
Born in 2021 from the research work initiated by the teachers of Capeline-Afac974 on the heritage of the cane workers in Reunion Island in the 19th century, the project now extends over 3 continents, in the Indian Ocean, Europe and the Caribbean. In 2022, we are creating a non-profit association to carry out the investments linked to the work carried out, and are launching this website as well as social networks to communicate with our partners and our public.
We hope to count you among our supporters, beneficiaries and friends.
See you soon.
To better understand the heritage of the society of cane workers in the Creole islands, it is necessary to go back in time to a period when photography was in its infancy, to study the texts, engravings and watercolours of the time, and to try to recover memories that have sometimes been forgotten.
In the 19th century, under the impetus of the Dutch governor Johannes Van Den Bosch, the Netherlands boosted its colonial economy by investing in the cultivation of indigo in Java and the islands that would become present-day Indonesia. In the French colonies, the owners were obliged to supply their workers with "blue cloth" for their clothing needs.
On 20 December 1848, the French Republic abolished slavery on Reunion Island, but the industrial revolution was in full swing and required a growing number of workers. In order to continue their expansion, the farmers massively hired "engagés" from India, Madagascar, China, Indonesia and other colonies. Many stayed on.
From London to Paris, milliners competed to dress the bourgeois classes enriched by the industrial explosion and colonial wealth. These same families, alternating between their travels in Europe and the colonies, took their clothing traditions with them and sometimes gave their surplus and discarded clothes to their servants and families, who appropriated and transformed them.
Documentation & Reconstitution Shootings
Our teams work closely with freelance journalists and professional photographers to produce high-resolution footage of the construction process, live model reconstructions and educational illustrations, and other digital resources.