Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Achille Mbembe's response to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Dakar speech

I recieved the following message on a listserve I belong to: calling attention to the controversial speech given by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar and the response of Cameroonian scholar, Achille Mbembe on I plowed through both texts in French and then found the English translation here. Well worth the read.


From: Olivier Barlet,

Date: 08 Aug 2007

The new french President Nicolas Sarkozy went to Dakar and, on the 26th of July 2007, held a very controversial speech at the University.

As part of his speech in Dakar, Sarkozy had said: "The African peasant only knows the eternal renewal of time, rhythmed by the endless repetition of the same gestures and the same words."

"In this imaginary world where everything starts over and over again, there is no place for human adventure or for the idea of progress," the French president said.

Achille Mbembe wrote a thorough and important answer published in partnership in the newspaper "Le Messager" (Douala, Cameroun) and the Africultures Website, that we let translate into english:

Text of the speech of President Nicolas Sarkozy (in french):

Text of the answer of Achille Mbembe in french :

Please let this information circulate.

Olivier Barlet
président d'Africultures
contact : Grande rue
F - 26110 Les Pilles
Tél : +33 (0)4 75 27 74 80
rédaction Africultures/Afriscope :
123, av. Jean-Jaurès
75019 Paris
Tél : +33 (0)1 40 40 14 65

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