Season in the Congo
With an Introduction by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
This play by renowned poet and political activist Aime Césaire recounts the tragic death of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Republic of Congo and an African nationalist hero. A Season in the Congo follows Lumumba’s efforts to free the Congolese from Belgian rule and the political struggles that led to his assassination in 1961. Césaire powerfully depicts Lumumba as a sympathetic, Christ-like figure whose conscious martyrdom reflects his self-sacrificing humanity and commitment to pan-Africanism.
Born in Martinique and educated in Paris, Césaire was a revolutionary artist and lifelong political activist, who founded the Martinique Independent Revolution Party. His ardent personal opposition to Western imperialism and racism fuels both his profound sympathy for Lumumba and the emotional strength of A Season in the Congo.
Rendered in a lyrical translation by distinguished scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Césaire’s play will find a new audience of readers interested in world literature and the vestiges of European colonialism.
Read the Guardian review of the staging of A Season in the Congo at the Young Vic, London, with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Patrice Lumumba.
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