The Memorial Cap 110 is made up of 15 busts, with a concrete base that has been whitewashed with sand from Trinidad and Tobago. Their apex weight is estimated to be 4 tons, and they stand 2.5 meters tall. They share the same face and features, as well as the same symbolic meaning. The bottom line is that they represent a group of people who were distressed, exhausted, and with their gaze fixed on the ground before their last breath was extinguished.
The busts represent slaves who had no identity and were being prepared for plantations in Europe and the Caribbean. According to Az Martinique, they were simply victims of a system that robbed Africa of its human resources between the 17th and 19th centuries.
From a distance, the sculpture appears to be triangular in shape, alluding to the triangular trade. Each bust represents a man leaning slightly in the direction of the Gulf of Guinea. It was built to pay a lasting tribute to the victims of the last shipwreck recorded in Diamant, which occurred in the early hours of April 8th and 9th, 1830.
The disaster was caused by a slave trafficking boat that collided with the rocks of Anse Caffard, killing one-third of the enslaved Africans on board. According to historical accounts, the sailors’ remains were buried in a cemetery, while the slaves were interred on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea.
Eighty-six enslaved Africans, 26 of whom were men and 60 of whom were women, were rescued from the boat disaster and transported to Fort-de-France. The 15 busts represent the meaning of this dark experience.
The white represents those in mourning in the Caribbean, while the triangular shape represents the triangular transatlantic slave trade routes that connect Europe, Africa, and America. The 110° comes from the degree east of the Gulf of Guinea, where the boat is thought to have capsized.
The sculpture is located in front of the Diamant Rocher. It is the 150th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. It was unveiled in 1998 as part of a project spearheaded by Diamant. They were specifically erected on March 12, 1998, and officially opened to the public on May 22, 1998.
Laurent Valere, who was born in Martinique in 1959, is the artist behind the work. Valere is a self-taught visual artist who also paints and sculpts. The location of the 15 busts in Anse Caffard was not chosen lightly. It was on this cliff that the boat carrying 300 slaves was destroyed.
Because of the impact of the crash, the wreckage was difficult to identify. The disaster resulted in the recovery of only six bodies. Their names were unknown at the time.