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© Jessie Mill

La plus secrète mémoire des hommes

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr + Aristide Tarnagda +
Odile Sankara

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.

General info

About the artists

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) Les Récréâtrales

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) Les Récréâtrales

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

Media Coverage

« Roman à la fois africain et voyageur, portrait éclaté d’un absent, il contient le présent, le futur et le passé à la manière d’un puits sans fond où se mêlent aussi le manque et les regrets amoureux, les souffrances de l’exil, certains deuils impossibles à surmonter, des vision d’horreur et quelques fantômes. »

Christian Desmeules, Le Devoir, 2021-10-02




“Sarr’s writing is imbued with complexity and that’s what I really like about it. It’s at once raw and incisive, profound and rooted in African and global issues. In that sense, it restores our humanity to us by repositioning within a universal context.”

Read the interview