« I see writing as
constructing a world, or rather
of reconstructing a world, or at least
of reconstructing myself a world in which to situate
myself, of trying to re-establish
another harmony in it. »
Tchikaya U Tam’si
Interview with Honorat de Yegagne, in Ivoire Soir, 21.07.87
Make way for the theatre! The irony of a cultural review is that it claims to capture the essence of the performing arts with words, which « even when many, do not fill a basket« , as the Yoruba proverb puts it. And yet, word in action, the theatre comes alive via the text. Paying homage to the fifteen years of the Limoges festival is a way of celebrating the freedom given to the authors and the faith shown in their writing, the reception and the respect of their literary creation.
This homage falls into the framework of the partnerships developed with the festivals which we think truly contribute to promoting knowledge of African cultures. Next month, we will open up our columns to African writers in partnership with the Fest’Africa festival in Lille, before resuming our transverse approach again.
Just like all its cultural expressions, African theatre is blossoming out in all directions. New names are imposing themselves, the rejection of didacticism is opening the way to the intimate, to derision, to anxiety and doubt, the stage directions render the actors their bodies and their voices, subtly playing with the group movements that have characterized it for so long, the engagement in the city remains strong, but is becoming transformed into a personal cry for another world harmony…
We will have achieved our objective if this journey into the performing arts makes you want to discover, to know, to go further. Africultures systematically reports on Africa’s contemporary theatre. Thanks to the meticulous work of Sylvie Chalaye, who compiled this dossier, and to the thumbs up from Greg Germain in Avignon. Let us take this opportunity to point out that Sylvie Chalaye has published a major work in the L’Harmattan Images plurielles collection this month: Du Noir au nègre: l’image du Noir au théâtre (1550-1960), which is a fascinating and important journey into the black characters in French theatre.
In collaboration with the Editions L’Harmattan, the Africultures journal strives to be the thorough and independent tool at the service of African cultures it sets out to be: 128 pages without raising the price, and a wide-ranging web site that is currently in preparation. Many thanks to all those who, more and more numerous by the day, back us in our objectives.
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