Notebook of a Return to my Native Land

Anton Phillips and Errol Lloyd in performance as a tribute to the late Cesaire

Written in the 1930s as an epic poem, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land has been hailed as ‘nothing less than the greatest lyrical monument of this time’ (André Breton). This groundbreaking work, which examines colonialism as another manifestation of slavery, also used the word ‘negritude’ for the first time and is seen as the foundation stone of francophone black literature. It was written by Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, who was born in 1913 and died in April 2008 and who, together with poets Léon-Gontran Damas from French Guiana and Léopold Senghor of Senegal, co-founded the cultural, political and philosophical movement in Paris in the 1930s that came to be called Negritude. The readings from Notebook of a Return to My Native Land will be performed by acclaimed actor and director Anton Phillips with music from Errol Lloyd. Together they capture the powerful and deeply moving themes of this poem: the future of the black race, the search for identity and the pervasive effects of slavery and colonialism on the minds and souls of black people.

Anton Phillips is a Jamaican-born actor, producer and director and a regular on British television. He is founder and director of Carib Theatre Company in London. In his production of The Amen Corner by James Baldwin, Phillips became the first black person to have produced and directed a West End transfer.

Errol Lloyd is a painter and writer with a lifelong interest in music. He has played flute with many amateur groups over the years, including light classical music with the Westbourne Singers and Players led by David Griffiths in the 1980s and with a jazz trio which played regularly at the Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, London.

(Tickets are £5.00)

Nov 07, 2008
George Padmore Institute, 76 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EN, UK