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Biography of Koffi KWAHULé

Cote D'Ivoire > Literature : Koffi KWAHULé

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Born on 10/05/1956 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Koffi Kwahulé born May 10, 1956 is a  French- Ivorian renowned novelist , playwright and director.

 Born in Abengourou in 1956, Kwahulé studied at the National Arts Institute of Abidjan until he was 23. At that point he moved to Paris to study at l'École de la Rue Blanche and the Sorbonne Nouvelle, where he earned his doctorate in theatre studies.
By the 1990s, French-speaking theatre from Africa, which had relied on return-to-African rituals and folkloric traditions (the concept of Négritude), began to embark on a different course of theatrical action. Along with Kossi Efoui of Togo, José Pliya of Benin, Koulsy Lamko of Chad, Caya Makhélé of the Congo and others, Kwahulé belongs to a new generation of African-born dramatists who, in tandem with their French-Caribbean brethren, have embraced postcolonial ruptures and hybridization, freely appropriated Western forms and ideas, and repeatedly rejected the notion of "Africanness" and authenticity.

He has written more than twenty plays, translated in many languages, including Cette vieille magie noire (recipient of Grand prix Tchicaya U Tam’si, RFI/ACCT 92); La dame du café d’en face (recipient of Prix SACD-RFI 94; Theater Zuidpool, Anvers, 2004); Bintou (TILF, 1997); Fama (Francophonies de Limoges, 1998); Les créanciers (Théâtre forain, 1998); Village fou ou Les déconnards (Avignon Off, 1998; recipient of Prix UNESCO du MASA 99 in Abidjan); Jaz (Teatro del Fontanone, Rome, 2000); P’tite-Souillure (recipient of Lauréat des Journées d’Auteurs de Lyon, Festival Frictions, Dijon, 2002); Histoire de soldats (Glob’Théâtre, Bordeaux, 2002); Big Shoot (Festival Verse Waar, Chassé Theatre, Breda, 2005 and Théâtre Denise-Pelletier, Montréal, 2005 ); and Il nous faut l’amérique (Palais de la Culture, Abidjan, 2005). He recently published his fist novel, Babyface, for which he was awarded the Grand Prix Ahmadou Kourouma and since 2006, he is part of the Comité des artistes at the Comédie-Française.

Though he is one of Africa's most internationally acclaimed dramatists, and certainly one of the most potent and angry in the European theatre, Kwahulé remains unknown in the English-speaking world.

Last update : 11/03/2010

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