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

By Clarisse Juompan-Yakam
Posted on Friday, 10 June 2022 12:32

Fatou Diome in Paris, 2019. ©Astrid di Crollalanza/Editions Albin Michel

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.