Books: "Sortilegi", Africa seen by two Europeans


Sortilegi” is the new book of Enzo Barnabà and Serge Latouche, recently published by Bollati Boringhieri.

This book is a collection of short stories about the life and experiences of two Europeans in Africa, between Congo and Ivory Coast.

This book stress a side of Congo that is slowly disappearing, African traditions fading for an unknown westernization.

Both the authors have lived and worked in Africa. In some stories they show a side of Africa, a continent that is slowly losing its traditions.

For example that of the scarifications or the image, famous in the ’60s, of the “women with naked breasts who wash themselves in the rivers between the banana trees and the fields of manioca” as shown by Marc Allégret.

“This was the time when in Africa people could get recognised by their scarifications. By those signs on their skins people could know who they were, what was their ethnicity, their job and their social status”, it is stated on the Italian publishing house website,

Even if the tradition remains important, the western culture is spreading without many difficulties.

“The intention of the authors – it is written in publishing house website – is that to explain, in the sense to unfold, to unroll under the eyes of the reader, the Africa that they have known”.

Enzo Barnabà is a professor of French studies that has lived in Africa working as a teacher of Abidjan university. “Sortilegi” keep some stories of his life in Africa. Sicilian Barnabà also published “Le ventre du python”, appeared in France in 2007.

Serge Latouche is a professor of university of Paris XI and a French economist. “It is one of the most famous adversaries of westernization of the planet”, it’s written on

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