The CHAGOS: Cultural Heritage Across Generations aims to help share and preserve the cultural heritage of the Chagossian community. This year the project supported the production of ‘Chagossian Cultural Heritage’, a new album by the Chagos Tambour Group, led by Mimose Furcy. You can download and stream the album for free, read the lyrics and watch video clips of the group performing by visiting https://chagos.online/exhibits/show/ctgexhibit/ctgalbumintro.
The album was launched at Rose-Hill Plaza in Mauritius on 27th November. It was a very atmospheric event with moving speeches by former President Cassam Uteem, government minister Nandcoomar Bodha MP, Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill mayor Ken Fat Fong Suk Koon, Chagos Refugees Group leader Olivier Bancoult, Chagossian painter Clément Siatous, CHAGOS director Dr Laura Jeffery, and former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius Professor Vinesh Hookoomsing, and a brilliant live performance by the Chagos Tambour Group which the audience loved. At the same venue we held a 3-day exhibition of Chagossian cultural heritage and paintings by the Chagossian artist Clément Siatous, which received a lot of visitors and positive feedback.
These events were organised to coincide with the 13th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which took place in Mauritius at the end of November. This year the Mauritian Government nominated Chagossian sega for inscription on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. UNESCO is due to consider the nomination at the 14th session in late 2019. We installed a mini exhibition at the UNESCO meeting to raise awareness about Chagossian sega among state members and other delegates in attendance.