Speaking peace

‘I do what I can to sound the alarm’ says Fatou Diome

By Clarisse Juompan-Yakam

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Posted on June 10, 2022 10:32

With Marianne face aux faussaires (Marianne against the fakers), the writer denounces both racism and radical forms of anti-racism with her acerbic tongue.

In 2017, in the midst of the French election period, Fatou Diome published Marianne porte plainte! [Marianne files a complaint/presses charges!] a prose poem that questioned the concept of national identity, its omnipresence in the political debate and the excesses of its defenders.

Five years later, in a similar context, the 54-year-old Franco-Senegalese writer returns with Marianne face aux faussaires, an incisive, uneasy essay on the defence of republican values in a France caught between xenophobic identitarians brandishing the threat of a “great replacement” and anti-racist activists trapped in a colonial past that deviates from the fight they claim to lead. A France that has to put up with their bitter, sad and declinist speeches.

In an acerbic tongue, the author of, among others, Le Ventre de l’Atlantique (The Belly of the Atlantic) and Celles qui attendent (Those who Wait), who

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