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The first British monarch to claim Barbados was James I. Tuesday at midnight, Elizabeth II became the last. At that time, the country made a symbolic break which, he hopes, will help it take a new step in a journey that began with emancipation but which is still far from over.

Some see the establishment of a republic with a president instead of a queen as a deeply important moment, but many are more skeptical and point to the daily deprivations that are still a part of life on the island as the legacy though. most important. colonialism. In this episode, Michel Safi visit Bridgetown to explore what may follow.

Esther phillips, Poet Laureate from Barbados, takes him to the Drax Plantation which was one of the country’s most heinous examples of the brutality of slavery and which is still in operation today. He hears of David Commission, activist and diplomat who fought all his life for a republic, on the concrete consequences of colonialism which remain an obstacle to the progress of Barbados. And he meets Alexander downes, the author of a petition that led to the removal of a statue of Lord Nelson in Bridgetown, who argues that while many might be apathetic to the idea of ​​overthrowing the British monarchy, the real significance of this moment will be feel for decades.

You can read Safi’s article on the creation of a republic in Barbados – Nelson, BLM and New Voices: Why Barbados is abandoning the Queen – here.

Barbados becomes a republic – and Britain faces a toll |  New

Photograph: Jonathan Brady / AP

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