Literary Activism in Cote d’Ivoire

Africa has a language problem. We don’t read enough in our indigenous languages, and we don’t read in the same foreign language.

The scramble for Africa left us with a flock of imported languages—French, Spanish, English, Portuguese—and as many literary cultures that unfortunately don’t cross over frequently enough. But we have made these foreign languages our own in exciting ways, especially in fiction.

One solution for the lack of crossover is translation, and we are seeing more and more works breaking through into languages other than the ones they were written in, but are we doing enough to build linguistic bridges, to find out what, say, Francophones, or Lusophones are writing and reading, or are we staying in our old colonial camps?

After seeing the phenomenon of #AbidjanLit unfolding online, Efemia Chela decided to engage translator, editor and writer Edwige-Renée Dro to discuss what she thinks about the exciting literature being read and written in that city.
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To view the full interview, click here (The Johannesburg Review)

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