LE FEMINISME DANS L’OEUVRE THEATRALE DE KOFFI KWAHULE

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Abstract:

Equality between the sexes is an issue that has been discussed over the years. In spite of the various solutions that have been proffered to bridge the equality gap between men and women, the problems still persist. There has been insufficient emphasis on the relevance of literary works, in particular, theatrical works, in solving the socio-political problems in general and female problem in particular. This study is based on seven plays of Koffi Kwahulé titled: Bintou, Brasserie, Le masque boiteux, Les recluses, La mélancolie des barbares, Nema and P’tit Souillure. It is a detailed analysis of violence against women as depicted in Kwahulé‟s plays as well as the various forms of feminist reaction put up by female characters in the selected plays. The study makes use of both sociological and feminist approaches. It also makes use of two works of Ifeoma Onyemelukwe as conceptual frames of reference. These are Violence and Politics in Poscolonial Literature and “From Reconstruction of the Deconstructed “Other” to Disempowerment of the “Self”: A Post-Colonial Reading of Aminata Sow Fall for the Empowerment of the Nigerian Woman”. The objective of this research is to find out if Kwahulé is a feminist and if indeed he is, to discover his feminist ideology. It was found that Kwahulé in the studied texts exposes and quite often condemns different forms of violence inflicted on women and girls. We classify them into three major categories namely, those perpetrated in the family, those perpetrated in the community and those perpetrated at the State level. Violence at the family level has to do with domestic violence, which comprises marital rape, incest, and physical violence. Violence at the community level is summed up as harmful traditional practices which includes Female Genital Mutilation, and communal violence which comprises of gang rape, sexual harassment and forced prostitution. Violence perpetrated at the State level comprises carceral violence and violence triggered off by armed conflicts. Our findings show five kinds of viii feminist reaction from Kwahulé‟s female characters. Therefore, the study comes up with five categories of Kwahulèenne women following their reaction namely: traditional women, anti-feminist women, traditional liberal feminists, postmodern feminists and radical feminists. Our research demonstrates effectively that Koffi Kwahulé is a feminist even though he does not proclaim to be one. It goes further to show that Kwahulé is a postmodern feminist. He hates oppression, cruelty, violence of all sorts unleashed on the woman, reasons for which he exposes and condemns such in his theatrical works. He clearly fights the cause of oppressed Ivorian woman in particular and the African woman in general. In the end, it is established that Koffi Kwahulé‟s plays make significant contributions towards understanding and solving the problems of women in contemporary African countries.

LE FEMINISME DANS L’OEUVRE THEATRALE DE KOFFI KWAHULE

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