Françoise VERGÈS, born 1952 in Paris, holds the “Global South(s)” Chair at Collège d’études mondiales, Paris, is Consulting Professor at Goldsmiths College and consultant for the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes.
She grew up in Reunion Island in an anti-colonialist and feminist family before leaving for Algeria and France. In the 1970s-1980s, she worked in a feminist journal, was an editor in a feminist publishing house, and worked in anti-racist and anti-imperialist movements. She moved to the US in 1983 and received her Ph.D. at the University of Berkeley in Political Theory (1995). She has been teaching in the UK and the USA.
From 2003 to 2010, Françoise Vergès was the head of the scientific and cultural program for a museum that was to be built in Reunion Island, she defended the principle of a “museum without objects.” From 2008 to 2012, she was president of the Committee for the Memory and History of Slavery in France, created in application of the May 21st 2001 Law (Loi Taubira) recognizing slave trade and slavery a “crime against humanity.”
Françoise Vergès has collaborated with filmmakers and artists, Isaac Julien, Yinka Shonibare, Arnaud Ngatcha, William Wilson, Jérôme Sesquin, and Kader Attia. She was project advisor for Documenta 11 and organized the program “The Slave in Le Louvre. An Invisible Humanity” for the 2012 Paris Triennial. She was invited by Thomas Hirschhorn to give a performance “Bitter Sugar” during his installation “Flamme éternelle,” Palais de Tokyo.