Ousmane Sembène

(redirected from Ousmane Sembene)
Ousmane Sembène
BirthplaceZiguinchor, Casamance, Senegal
film director, producer, screenwriter, actor & author
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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).


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


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].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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