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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Between resignation and refusal: francophone Togolese writers under the Eyadéma regime
Authors:Midiohouan, G. OssitoISNI
Amouro, C.A.
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Togo
Subjects:political attitudes
Abstract:During the Eyadéma regime, in power since January 13, 1967, writers in Togo have evinced three different attitudes toward political power. Indifference to political problems remains the most prevalent attitude. In the context of literature, this indifference translates into a silence imposed from above and endured with resignation. Beginning in 1975, writers began to draw inspiration from the country's political life. Their writings often convey a profound sense of social malaise, but they never directly attack the country's leader, who is only mentioned in terms of praise. This official literature of 'the king's griots' manifests itself in literary genres that range from poetry, theatre, and the novel to essays and literary criticism. Since 1985, a reaction against indifference, silence, and unquestioning acceptance has begun to take shape. Young intellectuals and playwrights in particular have exploited the narrow openings offered to them by the regime's hypocritical advocacy of human rights, and the journal 'Propos scientifiques', founded in 1985, has become an effective platform for this new intellectual movement. These new developments, however, hardly constitute a revolution. The Eyadéma regime still controls the situation and could easily rein in these 'young turks' or, if need be, defuse them. Bibliogr.