You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
© Jessie Mill

La plus secrète mémoire des hommes

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr , Aristide Tarnagda ,
Odile Sankara

Two towering voices of Burkinabe theatre bring to life La plus secrète mémoire des hommes, a literary high-wire act by Senegalese novelist Mohamed Mbougar Sarr.


Following the Trail of Words

Aristide Tarnagda and Odile Sankara, two towering voices of contemporary Burkinabe theatre, deliver a theatrical reading of Mohamed Mbougar Sarr’s novel La plus secrète mémoire des hommes. A veritable literary odyssey revolving around a myriad of stories, this gripping work spans a century and three continents. From Senegal to France via Argentina, the winner of the most recent Prix Goncourt addresses the authenticity and power of literature with biting wit.

The young Senegalese author’s literary investigation inspired the duo in charge of Les Récréâtrales in Ouagadougou, one of the major theatre festival in West Africa and a hub for contemporary French-language writing from across the African continent. Through its complexity, its narrative energy, and its questions around of the transmission of knowledge in a global context, Sarr’s profoundly human novel unsettles the traditional opposition of Africa and the West.


Produced by Association Récréâtrales

Written by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (Éditions Philippe Rey, 2021)

Adapted and directed by Aristide Tarnagda

Performed by Aristide Tarnagda + Odile Sankara

Music composed and performed by Antoine Berthiaume

Lighting Design Claire Seyller

Stage Manager Elaine Normandeau

Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Théâtre Acclamations

Presented in association with Monument-National

Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on May 26, 2022

World première

Written by Ralph Elawani

Translated by David Dalgleish


Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (Paris + Dakar)

Author Mohamed Mbougar Sarr was born in Dakar in 1990. After tackling the fate of illegal migrants (Silence du chœur, 2015) and the treatment of homosexuals in Senegal (De purs hommes, 2017), he imagined a resistance opposing the reign of terror in a city under Islamic rule (Terre ceinte, 2018).

Full biography
© Sophie Garcia

Aristide Tarnagda (Ouagadougou)

Aristide Tarnagda is a dramaturge, director, and actor. Born in Ouagadougou in 1983, he began his career in theatre after completing his studies in sociology. His meeting with the Ivorian dramaturge Koffi Kwahulé at the Les Récréâtrales festival, where he presented his first work, Alors, tue-moi, in 2004, was pivotal. 

Full biography
© Gery Barbot

Odile Sankara (Ouagadougou)

Actor, writer, director, and activist Odile Sankara is the president of Les Récréâtrales and a founding member of the Association Talents de Femme in Burkina Faso. A leading figure on the country’s arts scene, she has participated in organizing five editions of the Festival voix de femmes.

Full biography