The youth of Guadeloupe no longer want to go in circles

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A crossroads in a green valley. Lined with scattered houses, three streets like lines of flight. Or rather, as they are called in Guadeloupe, “Tichian Ways”, those speed bumps used by motorists to avoid traffic jams. We pass Bouliqui, a suburb of the municipality of Abymes, near the hills and gorges of the Grands-Fonds. Here the residents, small traders, breeders or gardeners, survive on the fringes.

As a youth and cultural center, Jeryson, Thomas, Kendric and the others occupy the mosquito-infested abandoned ruin that dominates the roundabout just inaugurated by the department. In the old bakery we celebrate birthdays with friends, we talk a lot, we listen to music, Haitian konpa, Dominican bouyon, jazz. On Sunday afternoon, November 6th, we watch Félicien spin his unbridled black scooter in endless rear wheels. How do you get out of Bouliqui?

Brothers Georgie and Georgio, residents of the Bouliqui neighborhood in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, on November 6, 2022.
The old abandoned bakery in the Bouliqui district in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, on November 6, 2022.
Jeryson shows photos of the dam that young people built in Les Abymes in November 2021, during the social movement that paralyzed Guadeloupe.  Here in Les Abymes, 6 November 2022.
Willard, of Bouliqui district, in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, on November 6, 2022.

In November 2021, they burned cars and tires on their roadblock. They had it mounted at the crossroads every three to four kilometers, identical to hundreds of others, in an electrifying atmosphere as they faced the raid police and gendarmes sent from mainland France as reinforcements. “All this for what? », 19-year-old Kendric is surprised today. After the movement, the services of the town hall of Les Abymes came to them, nobody blames this outstretched hand, even if everyone knows its limits. Kendric was given an eight-month civil contract thanks to France Services, the job was completed in October. With his high school diploma, he wanted to work as a nurse in the hospital, but like all his friends, he refused the vaccination. “It destroyed my professional projects. » With nothing concrete on the horizon “if necessary, I will go”, he said.

“Look at us! »

Thomas, 22, in a sleeveless camouflage vest and gold jewelry, has already decided to take off. “What I want? Work Work Work”‘ he says in a soft voice. With ” Everyone [ses] cooking diplomas in hand” he did not find any declared work. The bosses don’t want to pay. He lives with his parents, his partner has to live with his family with her 2-year-old daughter. He dreams of opening his own restaurant. “I did all the small training sessions of two or three months. At Pôle emploi I earn 366 euros. I will go. » Jeryson, 20, sports a tattooed four-leaf clover on her neck and beautiful braids atop her head. He also tested everything: “Carpentry, pizzas, deliveries, concrete painting, disabled assistance. » He will join the army.

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