Ousmane Sembène


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Ousmane Sembène
Birthday
BirthplaceZiguinchor, Casamance, Senegal
Died
Occupation
film director, producer, screenwriter, actor & author

Sembène, Ousmane

 

Born 1923 in Ziguinchor. Senegalese author writing in French and Wolof.

During World War II, Sembène fought against the fascists in North Africa and Europe. From 1946 to 1958 he was a docker in Marseille. Since 1960 he has lived in Senegal. As a theorist of literature, Sembène takes Marxist positions. He was the first West African writer to create literary characters of African workers and their leaders, champions of independence. His novel The Black Docker (1956) was directed against racism, and the novel My Homeland, My Wonderful People (1957; Russian translation published as Son of Senegal, 1958) dealt with social transformations in the African countryside. Sembène’s novel The Reeds of the Lord God (1960; Russian translation, 1962) depicted the inculcation of proletarian solidarity in former peasants; the struggle for independence in West Africa was the theme of the novel Harmattan—the Hot Wind (1964; Russian translation, 1966). The two novellas constituting the book Vehiciosane (1965; Russian translation of the second novella published as The Postal Money Order, 1966) dispute the concept of negritude.

Sembène is also a screenwriter and film director. He made the feature films The Man With the Cart (1963), The Black Woman From … (1966), The Postal Money Order (1968), Emitaï (1971), and Impotence (1975).

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Novye stranitsy: Rasskazy i stikhi. [Compiled and with preface by G. I. Potekhina.] Moscow, 1964.

REFERENCES

Potekhina, G. I. Ocherki sovremennoi literatury Zapadnoi Afriki. Moscow, 1968.
Sovremennnye literatury Afriki: Severnaia i Zapadnaia Afrika. Moscow, 1973.
Vieyra, P. S. Ousmane Sembène, cinéaste; 1-ère période, 1962–1971. Paris [1972].

G. I. POTEKHINA