An Island Paradise Turned Hell in the Indian Ocean: Mayotte in Nathacha Appanah's Tropique de la violence

Geetha Ganapathy-Doré


In Natacha Appanah's polyphonic narrative, Tropique de la violence (Gallimard, 2016), the French island of Mayotte lying in the Indian Ocean becomes the theatre for staging the violence unleashed by either man or Nature in the contemporary world. In order to introduce English-speaking readers to this French text, my essay studies the significance of the novel's title and its intertexts first. After specifying the narrative framework, an attempt is made to interpret the politicization of the migratory phenomenon, examine the negligence of peripheral Island territories by mainland France as a case of democratic dysfunction, and explore the putting to test of the sense of humanity and human rights in the European continent by the author through the realistic representation of the humanitarian crisis in the Indian Ocean territory. The essay's conclusion provides a comparative perspective on the representation of violence in the Indian Ocean territories.


migration, human rights, humanitarianism, Mayotte, violence, environment

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