Colloquium: Christian Ahihou

Date(s) - 10/12/2017
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

3108 JKB


Christian Ahihou, will present for the Humanities Center’s Colloquium on Thursday, Oct. 12th at 3:00 PM in 4010 JFSB.

Title: The Issue of African Emigration in Le ventre de l’Atlantique by Fatou Diome

Le ventre de l’Atlantique is the first novel written by the Senegalese female writer Fatou Diome . In this book, the main character’s (Salie) ultimate solution to dissuade his brother (Madické) from emigrating to Europe is to send him funds so he may open his own business in Niodior. However, without leaving the island for France, would Salie ever have had this money to help her brother? This is the question raised by Robert Nathan in his article when he wrote: “So paradoxically, Salie’s answer to discouraging migration is via migration.” But posing the problem this way is tantamount to misinterpreting Diome’s solution to the thorny scourge of youth emigration that is hampering the development process in Africa.

How can one solve the emigration problem in Africa without questioning its root(s)? According to the writings of Sally Ndongo to which Mahamet Timera refers in his article , is not emigration “analyzed as a form of plunder with the complicity of the nations of origin?” Indeed, challenging this “complicity of the nations of origin” will help realize that far from being the magic solution, what Diome proposes in her book is only an example to be followed at government levels.

In my presentation, I will propose an approach to this book which makes it possible to pose more accurately the problems of emigration in Africa. Based on the African governments’ responsibilities, I will also highlight the importance that their roles must play in the eradication of the problem.

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