TE: Who did you stay with during your time in French Guiana?
WB: I had the fortune to stay with Rene. Rene is one of the Bushinengue people, specifically the Paramaka tribe, he’s a father of six and works as part of the team managing the green areas in the city and the coast – a civil servant, basically.
TE: Did you make contact with him before you went out there?
WB: Before, through my friends. One of my friends has an uncle who’s a doctor in French Guiana and he’s one of the very few white doctors to allow black people to consult him.
TE: Really? So, is racism endemic out there?
WB: It’s more than endemic. The racism in French Guiana is barely imaginable to us people living in Europe where it’s more subtle or implicit. In French Guiana, I felt I was back in the colonial era. People do not fear saying they hate black people, it is a very explicit kind of racism, but I will talk about this a little bit later.