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Congolese writer slams 'torture' govt at Paris lecture

Congolese writer slams 'torture' govt at Paris lecture

Republic of the Congo

Congolese author and one of the world’s best known writers in French, Alain Mabanckou has accused the government of being “torturers.”

News24 reports that Mabanckou disclosed this while giving his inaugural lecture at the College de France where he spoke about “Artistic Creation.’‘

He lambasted the authorities for snubbing his inaugural lecture, the first time a writer has been asked to hold the artistic chair of one of France’s most renowned educational establishments .

If the Minister of Culture of Congo-Brazzaville cannot find the time to come to the college, then I will give him the title of Minister of Lack of Culture.

He told French radio, as long as “they remain in the Congo doing their culture of torture and barbarism, I will stay here in Paris,” he said.

“If the Minister of Culture of Congo-Brazzaville cannot find the time to come to the college, then I will give him the title of Minister of Lack of Culture,” the novelist told French media.

Mabanckou’s latest novel, “Petit Piment” (Little Pepper) has been seen by some as a satire on the three decades of Sassou Nguesso’s rule, which began with him as head of a one-party socialist state.

The author, a professor at UCLA in California, vowed he would use his year at the College de France to highlight African writing and give it its proper place in the pantheon of French letters.

“Some think still that Africans don’t have literature like some think that Africa has not entered history,” he said, referring to a controversial speech by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

The College de France is a uniquely French institution where any member of the public can attend lectures given by acknowledged experts in their fields on a variety of subjects including medicine, law and mathematics.

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