Martinique in a nutshell
Located in the heart of the West Indies between the island of Dominica in the North and that of Saint Lucia in the South, Martinique differs from the other DOM by its small size and the density of its population.
Martinique in pictures
Located in the heart of the Caribbean Arc between the island of Dominica in the North and that of Saint Lucia in the South, Martinique is 6,900 km from Paris, 3,150 km from New York and 200 km from Guadeloupe.
With an area of 1128 km², Martinique is distinguished from other overseas departments by its small size and population density.
The history of Martinique is closely linked to the colonial expansion of Europeans in the Caribbean. The first occupiers were the pre-Columbian cassava farmers who came from the Orinoco basin, around the fifth century BCE. These cultural groups are experiencing slow changes in their material culture.
Christopher Columbus discovered the island on June 15, 1502 and Martinique became French under Louis XIII, a colony attached to the French crown marked by an economic and social system based on slavery and framed by the publication of the black code in 1685.
From the 18th century Martinique society was marked by revolutionary influences and emancipation struggles leading to the abolition of slavery on May 22, 1848.
At the beginning of the twentieth century appear assimilationist claims leading to the erection in 1946 of Martinique in French department.
By the law of 31 December 1982, Martinique also became a mono-departmental Region and took the name of «Département et région d'outre mer» following the constitutional reform of March 2003.
As part of the statutory evolution process and following the 2010 referendums, the law providing for the creation of a single community was voted on 27 July 2011. Thus, the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM) succeeded, on January 1, 2016, the department of Martinique and the region of Martinique. It consists of two main bodies:
- The Executive Council of Martinique: one president and eight executive councillors
- The assembly of Martinique: a president, four vice-presidents and forty-six councillors.
Demography and employment
34 municipalities organized in 3 agglomeration communities:
- CACEM: 4 communes of the centre
- CMEA: 12 municipalities in the south
- CAP Nord, which includes 18 northern municipalities.
Census of Population: 394,173 inhabitants or 0.6% of the French population and 21.3% of the DOM population (2010 data).
Density: very high density with 354 inhabitants per km² compared to 116.5 in metropolitan France. The center of the island has more than one inhabitant in two (58%).
The annual population growth rate continues to decline. In 2012, it is 0.4% (compared to 0.5% in France) This change is explained by the deterioration of the natural balance and a strong deterioration of the migratory balance. Martinique has a low birth rate, the average number of children per woman is 1.88 in 2011, below the national average of 2.01.
Martinique’s population was aging. Over 20 years, the proportion of people over 65 years of age increased by 8 percentage points while the proportion under 20 years of age experienced an identical decline. According to INSEE, Martinique is becoming one of the oldest regions in France after Corsica.
The labour market is characterised by a high level of unemployment. The ILO unemployment rate is over 22% (double the metropolitan rate). The labour force declined significantly, reaching 166,112 in 2012, and the employed labour force was 131,200.
In Martinique, cultural activities generate 3,170 jobs directly or indirectly. Of these, 1,900 are cultural jobs, 870 of which are in cultural institutions and 1,030 in non-cultural institutions. Thus, 2,140 people report working in cultural establishments, or 1.6% of the working population in employment. (extract INSEE publication – June 2014).
The Martinique cultural landscape is characterized by a wealth of heritage that testifies to its history and whose recognition was built in the 1970s (first classification Fort Saint Louis in 1973). Artistic creation shows great vitality but is confronted with the limits of artistic creation and dissemination facilities.
28 municipalities have one or more historical monuments, most of the 101 protected buildings are in Fort de France (28) and Saint Pierre (15).
22 historical monuments are listed and 79 are listed. These are mainly religious architecture (presbytery church, calvary, etc.) or industrial architecture (rum distillery, sugar refinery, etc.) or domestic architecture (house, villas, houses, etc.) or civil engineering (bridge, lighthouses, fountains, etc.).
66 monuments belong to public owners and 35 have a private status belonging to religious associations or individuals.
Cities of art and history
The city of Saint Pierre obtained the label "city of art and history" in 1990. A former economic and cultural capital, Saint Pierre had been wiped off the map of Martinique in 1902. Little by little the city rises from its ashes and offers the testimonies of its lost grandeur.
Real computerized database in constant enrichment the archaeological map assemble and order for the whole territory the available Archaeological data. Its realization is a mission carried out by the DAC Archaeology Service. Planned research is important and preventive archaeology is progressing strongly to adapt to the pace of land use planning.
There are seven museums in Martinique that are labelled as “musée de France”:
- five museums of the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique: the regional museum of history and ethnography in Fort de France, the ecomuseum of Martinique in Rivière Pilote, the Maison de la Canne aux Trois-Ilets, the Musée du Père Pinchon (not yet inaugurated) and the departmental archaeological museum in Fort-de-France
- Saint-Pierre Volcanological Museum
- And the Natural History Museum (currently closed) in Fort-de-France
Cultural sites/structures Labeled
Tropics Atrium - National Stage (Epcc) created by prefectural decree of 30 May 2014 brings together the CMAC and the Atrium has recovered the label "national scene" in June 2015. This institution of cultural cooperation is the artistic and cultural structuring tool expected from public partners, cultural actors and the Martinique public.
The Domaine de Fonds Saint-Jacques in Sainte-Marie was awarded the label Centre Culturel de Rencontre (CCR) in 2001. Now owned by the CTM, the CCR is housed within the buildings of a monastic sugar house founded in 1659 by the Dominican order. Preserving the stigmas of sugar history, the Fonds Saint-Jacques is a perfect place for a dialogue between the present and the past and brings together artistic creations, mediation actions and research in the humanities.
Two independent places under contract:
- the Maison Rouge -maison des arts- in Fort de France, a place dedicated to dance, hosted by choreographer Christiane Emmanuel
- l'Azwel in Schoelcher, a place dedicated to the creation of young audiences hosted by actress Lucette Salibur
Housed in the former city hall of Fort de France, the Aimé Césaire theatre is a component of the SERMAC. This cultural service of the city of Fort de France manages in direct control arts education and programming activities. Initiated by Aimé Césaire in the 1970s, the workshops (dance, music, theatre, drawing, painting...) were the starting point for many artistic vocations.
In the absence of FRAC and an art centre, the DAC accompanies artists through support for creation, workshop installation and support for residencies and international dissemination. There are 26 works produced under the 1% artistic title and two decentralized public commissions. The Clément Foundation is dynamic and offers a series of exhibitions.
Visual arts training is provided by:
- five classes of specialty plastic arts (Fort de France, Robert, François, Bellefontaine, Trinité);
- an art school created in 1984 that trains about 150 students with 5 higher degrees: DNAT arts Graphiques, DNAP arts Plastiques, DNAP Design, DNSEP Art, DNSEP Art option design;
- training in CAPES plastic arts.
The majority of the film distribution is provided by the Elyzé group. Rehabilitation of independent rooms (Les Anses d'Arlet, Sainte-Marie, Le Morne Rouge) are envisaged in the medium and long term.
CADICE Ciné Woulé Company has been working for 12 years for image education in the territory of Martinique.
This association contributes to DAC-funded schemes:
- image smugglers
- school and film
- film college
- high school students and film apprentices
Book and Reading – Written Heritage – Archives
Martinique offers to its population 28 municipal libraries to which are added two libraries under the responsibility of the Territorial Community of Martinique (the departmental lending library and the Schoelcher library) and a university library.
The bookstore network consists of twelve bookstores, most of which are religious or esoteric in character. Four general bookstores are facing difficulties. The West Indian bookstore, which was a flourishing establishment, is forced to diversify its offer towards stationery, games and multimedia. The Alexandre bookstore, founded in 1910, no longer has any possibility of development. A new bookstore created in 2012 is a member of the Procure network. The Kazabul in Fort de France is the only certified bookstore.
A framework convention of associated pole formalizes the cooperation between the National Library of France, the General Council, the University and the Direction of Cultural Affairs. This convention promotes in particular the digitization of ancient works and the enhancement of the written heritage.