Yesterday, there was a big enthusiastic crowd at the LPT Hall where LALIT launched the Kreol version of the Marx-Engels Manifesto. The Kreol Manifesto was launched both as a book, in printed form, and on CD, in audio form. The launch began with an exhibition of a few offhand events that happened in 1848, a few of the literary creations. LALIT members and artist Alain Ah-Vee presented a few examples of the art work produced by artists in that time including paintings of Courbet and Honore Daumier. Rajni Lallah played a few piano works by Liszt and Chopin that were produced between 1831 and 1849 including a Chopin Berceuse, the Revolutionary Etude and the Consolation no. 3 of Liszt to give an idea of the kind of piano music produced in this period.
The launch, as LALIT militant Ram Seegobin who presided the launch said, coincides with three major events: Karl Marx voted greatest philosopher ever by BBC listeners, World Kreol language day and the anniversary of the Fall of the Winter palace on the 25th of October 1917. In the 1970's, Raj Seegobin, a LALIT member at the time, translated the Manifesto into Kreol for the first time which was published in as a series in Lalit de Klas. LALIT also adapted a kreol version Marx an Zimaz, based on the French comic strip version. Ram Seegobin said that the early version was translated in a time when the Kreol language was just developing as a written language. The written form of Kreol has developed a great deal since then. So the new version is an adaptation of the earlier one.
Ram Seegobin described how just as for the old Lalit de Klas monthly, LALIT militants have on our own, whether for the book or for the CD (the first time LALIT has launched into this kind of work), done all the work, whether translation, proof reading, typing it up, typesetting it, collating the pages, reading it for the audio version, and sweating (as it is the first time LALIT members have done audio work) to do the recording, editing, and copying for the CD version.
Ram Seegobin also said that when Marx and Engels wrote the manifesto, it was in a period of liberalism where the market reigned supreme. Today, just as in the time when Marx and Engels wrote the Manifesto, we are living in similar times of neo-liberalism.
This theme was taken up by ex-Lalit de Klas member, Jean-Claude Bibi, in his launch speech. Ram Seegobin introduced Jean-Claude Bibi as someone who had been one of the first members of Lalit de Klas, and who up to today, has not renounced Marxism. Jean-Claude Bibi explained how useful Marxism is not only in understanding politics, but also many other areas of human life. He explained how helpful it was to him that he had studied Marxism when he was studying law at university.
He said that even if some proclaimed "the end of history", the "end of class struggle", Marxism is very much alive today, as the election of Karl Marx as greatest philosopher ever by BBC listeners shows.
Jean-Claude Bibi also said that many people who in the past, proclaimed themselves Marxist, so-called "libertarian" Marxists of the MMM, have finished up in a party where everyone in it has to think and act like Berenger.
He strongly recommended everyone to read the preface of the kreol version of the Manifesto which presents the book and shows its importance and relevance in the present context in which we are living.
LALIT militants Lindsey Collen (who did most of the translation work), and Alain Ah-Vee (whose voice is on the CD version) did the "unveiling ceremony" to show the eager crowd the book and the CD and open the first sales.
After wine and snacks that members had brought, everyone was mesmerized by Sergei Eisenstein's October (Ten Days that Shook the World).