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Traoré, Sayouba

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Libération - France | 27/12/2005

How a great nation is built

"Was colonisation 'positive' in an economic, cultural, social and human sense? For whom and to whose detriment?" asks Sayouba Traoré, a writer from Burkina Faso. French law requires historians to pay tribute to the 'positive role' of the French presence, notably in North Africa. "The greatness of a nation draws sustenance from the pettiness of other nations. And one does not become a great nation with impunity. One must have the requisite will and determination. And never hesitate to appropriate other peoples' possessions. To scheme, swindle, and slaughter if necessary. And then be able to explain one's actions. And plan how you are going to respond in the event that some nitpicker takes you to task. Take what does not belong to you. And into the bargain, sell the owner of this property. It is by eating that you work up an appetite."

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