It was an honour to welcome Mme Marie-Aida Diop Wane to LOATAD last Wednesday.
Mme Diop Wane is a translator and the daughter of the legendary Alioune Diop 🇸🇳 (1910-1980), writer, editor, and founder of the pioneering pan-African journal Présence Africaine, and a central figure in the Négritude movement.
Mme Diop Wane gave a talk to our WAW Residents and members of #teamLOATAD about growing up in a house surrounded by her father’s revolutionary friends, including her “uncles” Leopold Senghor and Aime Cesaire, meeting Malcolm X, and being in the company of Patrice Lumumba, who she recalled as a shy man very different from the image of the revolutionary who led Congo to independence.
Her talk was full of such wonderful vignettes, like why her mother, Yande Diop, and other women who were key figures in the Negritude movement, were absent from the famous photograph taken of participants at the 1956 Congress of Black Writers and Artists.
She also spoke about the role of the writer as an activist and the importance of translation for fostering pan-African unity today.
Mme Diop Wane’s talk was a real insight into what it was like to grow up in the crucible of a literary movement fighting for political change through the power of the pen and was a call to action to today’s writers to continue the work that her parent’s generation started. It was a beautiful lesson to receive.
👉🏿 Watch the full talk in our Instagram Videos.
🙏🏿 Special thanks to Institut Francais for arranging the visit as part of their Francophonie Week celebrations.
🙏🏿 And, of course, especial thanks to Mme Diop Wane, not only for her inspirational talk, but for her energy and generosity of spirit!