Women and Power: Imbolo Mbue

Sat 27.03.2021
17:30 - 18:30
Imbolo mbue kiriko sano


online event


Book presentation, Interview


choose your own digital price: ticket (one programme for € 5 | € 8 | € 10) - pass (all programmes for € 15 | € 20 | € 30)


would you like to share your question with the author ? Send it before 26 March by mail to connect@passaporta.be, either in writing or as a short video.


in English; French and Dutch subtitles available as of 31/3

After offering us a brand-new text for the festival on the theme of power, the Cameroonian-American author Imbolo Mbue will be presenting her new book. Her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, is now followed by How Beautiful We Were, a powerful and politically conscious lyrical novel that raises questions about colonialism, the links between Africa and the West, capitalist violence, feminism and the environment. An exclusive interview from New York.

An interview moderated by Florence Noiville (Le Monde), reading by Priscilla Adade.

Politically conscious

Born in 1982, Imbolo Mbue left Limbe, Cameroon in 1998 to study in the United States. In the politically conscious How Beautiful We Were, the author, who now lives in Manhattan, transports us to Kosawa, an African village whose lands are being exploited by Pexton, an American oil company. The spoliation also triggers a health and ecological disaster that the village is determined to rise up against. Exceptionally, the English novel is being released almost at the same time as its French and Dutch translations.

"Now, I realize that it wasn’t just curiosity that drew me to the revolutionaries and rebels and renegades. What truly drew them to me was the fact that they were doing something I wished I could do but couldn’t because it was virtually nonexistent around me: they were standing up to power."
Imbolo Mbue, Power

Between two cultures

Inspired by the great African authors Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Imbolo Mbue says that she also found a powerful echo to her feeling of being torn between two cultures in Toni Morrison and Gabriel García Márquez. So, besides the issue of power, there will be plenty of subjects to discuss with her…

Passa Porta, La Monnaie, Belfond

photo imbolo mbue © kiriko sano

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