• The Debutante

Surrealism and Us (A Love Letter to Suzanne Césaire)’ or ‘The Truth About the Colonies’

Words by Hailey Maxwell


A global movement from its earliest days, Surrealism emerged as a reaction to colonialism, militarism and fascism. Africa, the Caribbean, Oceania, and the Americas are Surrealist. Surrealism is in Haiti, Martinique, Egypt, Mexico, Algeria, Japan.


To be Surrealist is to contest the cruelties of reality and to demand the disarticulation and obliteration of White supremacy, the complacent and complicit bourgeoisie and the violent thirst for capital. Above all Surrealism is devoted to the pursuit of human freedom, to imagination and to the possibility of another way of living.





We carry that tradition today – putting surrealism once again in the service of the revolution.

We present material ripped from reality and reassembled into offerings of solidarity, compassion, grief. Proceeds of all sales will be donated to organisations and charities supporting Black life, culture and freedom.





“The arrow of history dizzyingly indicated for us our human task: a society, corrupt from its origins through crime, reliant for the present on injustice and hypocricy, fearful of its future because of its guilty conscience, must morally, historically and inevitably disappear.

From among the powerful war weaponry the modern world now places at our disposal, our audacity has chosen surrealism, which offers the greatest chances for success

Our surrealism will then deliver it the bread of its depths. Finally those sordid contemporary antinomies of black/white, European/African, civilised/savage will be transcended. The magical power of the mahoulis will be recovered, drawn forth from living sources. Colonial stupidity will be purified in the blue welding flame. The mettle of our metal, our cutting edge of steel, our unique communions - all will be recovered."


Suzanne Cesaire – Surrealism and Us (1943)

Content ©The Debutante. No part of this website or print journal may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the editors.

surrealistwomen@gmail.com

Edinburgh, Scotland.

Background collage: Ailsa Sutcliffe.