They decolonize history on Télé-Québec

They decolonize history on Télé-Québec

The 2nd season of “Décoloniser l'histoire” devotes 10 episodes to little-known chapters in Quebec history.

Since April 13, on the Télé-Québec website, three hosts of immigrant origin, Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye, Youssef Shoufan and Vanessa Destiné, have been decolonizing history. This is the second season of this show, in documentary format, which explores 10 little-known chapters of Quebec history.

From the racial segregation of black people to the forced displacement of members of the Naskapi nation, passing by “La rafle”, a program of forced adoption of indigenous children, the French McGill movement and the work of West Indian domestic helpers, “Décoloniser l'histoire” examines all these periods with a fine-toothed comb.

History is not neutral and it is not objective. It can be instrumentalized. It has a lot of blind spots because it's usually written by the winners. Forgotten and buried stories that we try to dust off.

Vanessa Destiné, one of the three people who host the show, in an interview with Métro.

Of the show's ten episodes, once again, Ms. Destiné alone presents at least four: the French McGill movement, the history of domestic helpers in Quebec, the segregation of black people in Quebec, and the workers' strike. asbestos workers of 1949.

The host avoids considering that it is a rewriting of history. She prefers to evoke, from a cultural point of view, a “process of reaffirmation, of control over the narrative”. And on the political level, the journalist and host considers the show as the resumption of a “form of emancipation from its colonizer”.

Light on the Natives

The first season devoted at least 5 out of ten episodes to the Natives and all that they have suffered throughout history. There are almost as many sequences devoted to them during this season. There is a lot of talk about anti-black racism in the media these days, but “blacks do not have a monopoly on the victimization of racism”, recalls Vanessa Destiné, to demonstrate that the First Nations have lived and still live racism.

To decolonize history, the show's team relies on newspaper clippings, video clips from the NFB, testimonials, among others. The historical facts in terms of racism and discrimination are so numerous that the animators were spoiled for choice. “It was more difficult for us to make choices in the face of the immensity of the story to be told,” reveals Vanessa Destiné.

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