Un Fou noir au pays des Blancs

French language show details tumultuous arrival in Europe from Congo

Un Fou noir au pays des Blancs

Photo: Véronique Vercheval

Having already toured extensively since 2001, taking his intriguing personal show from France to Guadalupe, Martinique and Canada, writer, storyteller, psychotherapist and professor of humanities Pie Tshibanda gives his debut performance in the UK at Edinburgh’s Institut Français d’Ecosse. The monologue marks the launch of a number of shows hosted by the Institut in collaboration with Wallonia-Brussels – the body governing Franco-Belgian cultural policies – which will take place throughout the UK this year.

Tshibanda fled Congo for Brussels seeking political asylum and his French language show details the culture shock experienced by a young man unfamiliar with Western behaviour. His initial ideas of global harmony and his view that ‘the world is a village’ did not correspond with his new neighbours’ sceptical views. ‘When I knocked on their doors, they asked me what I was selling. I just wanted to say good morning.’

Documenting his tumultuous time in Europe, from experiencing racial prejudice to forging a path as a successful author and storyteller, Tshibanda maintains that the show is not angry. Instead, he combines sincerity and humour to encourage audiences to search for meaning themselves.

‘I don’t give morals,’ he says. ‘I ask questions. It is a show with lots of questions.’

Institut Français d’Ecosse, Edinburgh, Tue 20 Mar

Un Fou noir au pays des Blancs

Congolese storyteller Pie Tshibanda tells the story of his journey as an asylum seeker from his native land to Brussels, and the challenges he faced in trying to build a life there.


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