Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 18th, 2012

Part 2. An excursion with French-speaking African authors

(Francophone authors)

Alain Mabanckou, an author from the Congo Brazzaville or (Rep. of Congo), published “Writers and birds of migration”.  Alain described his meeting with many African Francophone authors.  In the previous I related the meetings with Ahmadou Kourouna (Ivory Coast) and Sony Labou Tansi (Congo Brazzaville or Rep.of Congo).

Here are another set of samples of the stories:

On Sami Tchak from Togo. “I discuss literature mostly with Sami Tchak from Togo. Sami is not prone to any consensus and I can always count on Sami to let me discover unknown authors. We are in constant connection and we spend time discussing the many dimensions of the imaginary: Bringing in fresh air.

Sami would grab any book left on a bench in any public park, read it all, for the entire day, sitting on the bench: Tchak reads everything!

Sami published “Place des fetes” (Fiesta square, 2001), a iconoclastic work of contemporary Sub-Sahara literature. Sami says: “A writer is above all a reader. We have too many half-cooked literate intellectuals

Tchak has spent long periods in Latin America and evoked themes of sexuality, prostitution…themes not usually covered in African literatures.  For example, Sami’s book “The Malian Al Capone” is about little people, tormented in their customs and traditions, these mobile Africans, mobile in their heart, faith, lightness of being, happiness, exaggeration, clownish behaviors…How colonial Europe is coming to term in viewing Africa and Africans, this resisting Black continent, this ancient breath of traditional waves.

Time for Europe to comprehend this “Black Soul” through a trip to the “heart of darkness”, undertaken by the main character, a magazine white reporter, Rene. Rene’s weight of errance and the stubbornness for an illicit desire.

Tchak make it his responsibility to first visit the locations of his novel, and study the social structure so to present slices of the society.  Tchak is subjugated by the novels “The man without qualities” by Robert Musil (Austria), “Three sad tigers”, and “Father Tranquille”

On Laye Camara (1928-80) from Guinea. Laye was sent to exile by dictator Sekou Toure. The first book of Camara “The Black kid” was published in 1953 and became an instant cult book, and Laye was considered the most independent minded author, and perpetually felt the “freshest” to all African generations.

It is an “initiating book”, and later, many African authors wrote their versions of the Black kid in recounting their early years. For example,  “Climbie” by Bernard Dadie, “Kocumbo, the black student” by Ake Loba, and “Ambiguous adventure” by Cheikh Hamidou Kane.  The contemporary African authors who emulated the Black kid are: “All this blue, Ma” by Gaston Paul Effa.

The preface of the Black kid contained a poem “To my mother” that is memorized and recited by almost all school children, a vibrant homage to African women, and sang by African musicians.

Laye said: “I was thinking of myself, and as I wrote the book, I realized that I was painting a portion of my High-Guinea birthplace.”  There is a serenity in Laye as he considers the Future of Africa, the book decodes a society, we enter the universe of the humble person, culture of courtesy, exchange, and dignity: Feeling happy to be African, and celebrating life… 

Alain Mabanckou mentioned many African and “colored” Francophone authors such as the authors in north Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tuninis): Yahyia Belaski, Anouar Benmalek, Kateb Yacine, Mahmoud Mammeri, Rachid Mimouni, Mohammed Dib, Kebir Amin, Salim Bachi, Asia Djebbar, Edouard Glissant, Maryse Conde, Emmanuel Dongala…

Like Yambo Ouologuen “Le Livre de violence (The book of violence)“, Ahmadou Kourouma “Les soleils des independance” (Suns of Independence), “En attendant le vote des betes sauvage” (Waiting for the vote of the beasts), and “Allah n’est pas oblige” (Allah has no obligation).

Like Sony Labou Tansi (Cameroun) “La vie et demi” (The life and a half), Arenas Reinaldo (Cuba): Trois tristes tigres (Three sad tigers), Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba) ” Pere tranquille” (Father Cool), Sami Tchak (Togo) “Place des fetes” (Festivities square), “Hermina, daughter of Mexico”, “Infidel woman“, and “The Malian Al Capone”

Like James Baldwin (USA) “The room of Giovanni”, Gary Victor (Haiti) “13 vaudou novellas”,  “At the angel of parallel streets”

Note: Alain Mabanckou is born in the Rep. of Congo (a Francophone State) in 1966.  He is professor of Francophone literature in UCLA.  He published “Broken Glass”, “Black Bazar”, letter to Jimmy (James Baldwin)”, and “Tomorrow I’ll be 20″…

 What Eucalyptus trees have to do with: Zionist Israel, songs, and Lebanon? Why Eucalyptus is spreading strong antagonistic emotions?
There is this singer, the Belgian Lara Fabian, born from an Italian mother, who had sung  Khourshat Haecalyptus (Eucalyptus Forest) in May 25, 2008, and in Hebrew, at the Concert for the 60 Years of creation of Israel, at Trocadero in Paris. Lara sang in March 2010 at the “Cercle Ben Gurion” in Brussels (Belgium)
The lyrics of the song  “The Eucalyptus forest” was written by Zionist Naamat Shimer who describes her parents settlement in Tabaraya (Tiberiad in North of Palestine) in 1917 in the Palestinian towns of Samakh and Em Nounat.
The original inhabitants of these two towns, as in  hundreds other Palestinian villages, were murdered and displaced by act of random violence and planned genocide from their lands by the nascent Israel State in 1948.

Arafat Kewan wrote (and posted on Samah’s wall): “Naamat’s immigrant parents contributed with the surrounding Kibuts in planting Eucalyptus trees on a hill. This song is representative of Zionism implantation in Palestine and how her parents fought to keep this forest, and how this forest is a symbol of the “new peace”…

The problem is that Lara Fabian is invited to sing in Casino of Lebanon this Feb 14-15, 2012, and Lebanese youth are very upset that the government is acting nonchalantly on issues related to national pride, particularly that the government own a large share in the Casino.

Another singer, Armin Van Buren was programmed to sing in Lebanon after performing in Eilat (Israel) and the Youth demonstrated in front of the concert hall.

Many other foreign “artists” violated the feeling of the Lebanese who are still being threatened by the successive Israel pre-emptive wars…

 The Lebanese youth sent Lara Fabian this letter:
“Beirut, January 15, 2012
Dear Ms Lara Fabian, Greetings from Beirut.
You have declared your full support of Israel. You have sung on its 60th “anniversary,”  (by now 64) years of ethnic cleansing, house demolitions, apartheid, colonial settlements, and denial of the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees (including about 400,000 thousand in Lebanon alone) to go home.
You have sung a Zionist song in Hebrew, and declared your “love” for Israel when you finished singing it (in Paris, Trocadero, May 25, 2008).
While you were celebrating Israel’s “anniversary,” leading international artists and cultural figures of the caliber of Augusto Boal, Mahmoud Darwish, Judith Butler, Andre Brink, Nigel Kennedy, among many others, signed a statement titled “No reason to celebrate!”
The statement appeared in the International Herald Tribune on 8 May 2008 and said: “There is no reason to celebrate! Israel at 60 is a State that is still denying Palestinian refugee their UN-sanctioned rights, simply because they are “non-Jews.”
Israel is still illegally occupying Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. It is still persistently and grossly breaching international law and infringing fundamental human rights with impunity afforded to it through munificent US and European economic, diplomatic and political support.
Israel is still treating its own Palestinian citizens with institutionalized discrimination. In short, celebrating “Israel at 60” is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves to the haunting tune of lingering dispossession and multi-faceted injustice.”
More recently, heeding the virtually consensus-supported Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel, tens of artists and musicians have declared their unwillingness to play in Israel just as they had done with apartheid South Africa.
Tel Aviv is increasingly being viewed today as Sun City was in the 1980s.
Roger Waters, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, Natasha Atlas, Gil-Scott Heron, The Pixies, Gorillaz, Klaxons, Vanessa Paradis, Snoop Dogg, are some of many who took a moral stand and refused to allow their art and names to be used to whitewash Israel’s violations of human rights.
You, Lara Fabian, on the contrary, chose, time and again, to entertain apartheid, crime, and occupation in Israel and to further vow your “love” for it. For that, and in line with our right to freedom of expression in Lebanon, we pledge to boycott your event in “Casino du Liban” on Feb 14-15.
We will call on all the Lebanese and Palestinians in Lebanon to boycott your shows.  We will urge our Algerian and Moroccan brothers and sisters to do the same.
Singing for love and peace on Valentine’s Day contradicts your unequivocal support for apartheid and colonization. Our country, Lebanon, is, to this very day, subject to daily Israeli infringement on its sovereignty. Tens of thousands of Lebanese have been murdered thanks to Israeli bombardment and shelling since its inception (“independence”!) in 1948.
Millions of cluster bomblets are still implanted in the south of Lebanon, causing the daily death and injury of peasants and children.
Lara Fabian, the message of love should not be smeared with blood. Boycott Israel; be on the right side of history!
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon” End of letter.” End of letter
This habit of claiming “art for art sake” is no longer receivable.
Artists, way before politicians, are to be in the front line against apartheid, discrimination, and genocide-minded policies, anywhere in the world.
I am wondering, why the early Jewish immigrants had to bring eucalyptus trees to Palestine?
Did they think Palestine is in tropical region of Africa and Burma and that malaria was the main health nemesis?
If so, why Zionism has lied to world community claiming that they were returning “Home”, if they were so ignorant of Palestine?
Does Lara Fabian carries quinine pills in her handbag as she lands in Israel, or she heads straight to “her forest” to chew on a few eucalyptus leaves?
Note 1: Lara has cancelled her show in Lebanon after the campaign opposing her presence.  A few “pro-Israelis” in Lebanon are weeping… Currently, No one who sang in Israel dare perform in Lebanon
Note 2: Song on




January 2012

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