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Francophone manifestos: on solidarity in the French-speaking world

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This contribution considers the publication of the Manifeste de quarante-quatre crivains pour une langue franaise libre de son pacte exclusif avec la nation (Barbery et al. 2007) as a manifestary phenomenon. As such, it is part of a history of French-language manifestos that have been instrumental in expressing and enacting solidarity and solidary resistance to marginalization within the Francophone/French world binary. Using Marxian and postcolonial theories as well as theories of affect, this article studies solidarity as it is articulated in manifestos such as Aim Csaire's (1942) En guise de manifeste littraire; Jean Bernab, Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphal Confiant's (1993) loge de la Crolit; Jacques Stephen Alexis's (1946) Lettre aux Hommes Vieux; the conclusion of Frantz Fanon's (2002) Les damns de la terre, the Manifeste du FLQ; Michle Lalonde and Denis Monire's (1981) Cause commune: Manifeste pour une internationale des petites cultures, of course the Manifeste pour une littrature-monde (Barbery et al. 2007), and Ernest Breleur et al.'s February 2009 Manifeste pour les produits de haute ncessit. Ultimately, the article reflects on the nature of the manifesto as a dual form both literary and political and on the insights that manifestary solidarity may provide in restructuring the binaries of francophonie versus France, periphery versus centre, politics versus art, and artist versus critic.
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Keywords: francophone; littrature-monde; manifesto; marxism; resistance; solidarity; theories of affect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hamilton College.

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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