Theater as an Expression of African History in “Les Amazoulous” and “La Fille des Dieux” by Abdou Anta Kâ

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Dr. Anne Larsen, Hope College

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Theater is an all-encompassing expression of art consisting of music, dance, poetry, folklore, history, personality, and emotion. African theater uses all these means and more as a way of educating and expressing a lost culture and a past identity. This research focuses on two plays by a Senegalese author, Abdou Anta Kâ, who wrote “Les Amazoulous” and “La Fille des Dieux”. In contrast to the typical European styles of theater shown in Africa at the time, Kâ uses these pieces to communicate political messages and gender structures through the use of folklore and legends, which substantiate a direct connection to African culture – a connection which the African people would readily understand. The stories clearly reference colonialism as the root cause of the problems that they bring up – problems which were inherent in their society and continued even after decolonization.

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