Garden party of the French Overseas Departments (2009)

Photo and copyright: Régis Durand de Girard
On July 13th 2009 the French Overseas Departments had their annual garden party. The invited guests are seen as a reflexion of who is in and who is out of the black socio political spotlight in France. See the photos here.

On the photo (right) Marie-luce Penchard, the new appointed Secretary of State for Overseas Territories, and host of the garden party. Penchard replaced Yves Jégo, who was a mayor player in the 2009 French Caribbean general strikes. Olivier Biancarelli (left) is the special overseas territories advisor and top aid of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The photo comment on the Paris blog (see photos) states: "Qui est le chef maintenant? (Who is the boss now?)."

The Overseas Departments and Territories (French: départements d'outre-mer and territoires d'outre-mer or DOM-TOM) are the Caribbean islands Martinique, Guadeloupe, the South American country French Guiana, and the African island Réunion. The other countries have a different status. People from the d' outre-mer are French citizens.

Not only government officials were invited at the garden party. Actrice Firmine Richard and Zouk singer Claudy Siar were also present. But also professionals, young potentials and people who play an active role in the French black community were invited. Lucette Michaux-Chevry, the powerful mother of Marie-luce Penchard, also attended the party.

The important question is if Marie-luce Penchard will be able to stabilise the explosive political situation on the French Caribbean Island Guadeloupe. According to critics Penchard is not a political powerhouse, but the fact that she is born in Guadeloupe is seen as a positive factor in the conflict.

But what happened to Christine Kelly? The glamorous black French TV presenter and writer who had come to the attention of star-struck president Nicolas Sarkozy for the post of Secretary of State for Overseas Territories. The latest news: she has turned green.

Official site l’Outre-Mer

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