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Wilfried N’Sondé à bord de Tara © Wilfried N’Sondé

Wilfried N’Sondé boards the Tara boat!

It’s a mobility project suited to the current circumstances that everyone is familiar with. In April, the author Wilfried N’Sondé will start his mission in Chile, not on land but on water, aboard the Tara schooner. On 8 April, Tara will stopover in…. That’s where the adventure will start. Have a good trip Wilfried!

Updated on 20/05/2021

2 min

PORTRAIT Arrivée à bord de Wilfried N’Sondé, premier artiste de la Mission Microbiomes
PORTRAIT Arrivée à bord de Wilfried N’Sondé, premier artiste de la Mission Microbiomes

The mission

The project came about a year ago, from reflection between Wilfried N’Sondé, his publisher and the Tara Foundation, which supports collaborations between scientists and artists.

His immersion within the international team of scientists on the Tara schooner, from 8 April to 10 May 2021, will lead to him writing a fictional text, with the aim of showing the general public how the experiments of the Tara Foundation take place, and make what’s involved in the work and considerations specialists carry out on site more accessible. It will also mean sharing the daily life of the men and women present on the boat as well as their experience of sailing.

Apart from the author’s writing, the Instituts français in France and Chile will organise writing workshops between students in a class in Chile and a French class. During the month Wilfried N’Sondé will spend onboard sailing, he will be in contact with the young audience, exchanging with them on themes like: writing a logbook as part of a sailing experience and how to render monitoring the scientific investigations in the form of short texts accessible to everyone. Exchanges between the author and the young audience will enable improvement in writing, reading and creation.

Wilfried N'Sondé shares his journey in poetry

Tara © DR
Nuit océan © DR
Valparaiso © DR
Adieux © Wilfried N'Sondé

Outre le travail d’écriture de l’auteur, les Instituts français (France et Chili) mettront en place des ateliers d’écriture entre élèves d’une classe chilienne et d’une classe française. Durant le mois de navigation à bord de Tara, Wilfried N’Sondé sera donc en lien avec le jeune public, échangera avec eux et leur proposera de travailler avec eux sur des thèmes comme : la rédaction d’un journal de bord dans le cadre d’une expérience de navigation et comment restituer le suivi des investigations scientifiques sous la forme de texte courts et accessibles à tous. Les échanges entre l’auteur et le jeune public permettront un enrichissement dans le domaine de l’écriture, de la lecture et donc de la création.

Wilfried N’Sondé Wilfried N’Sondé © Maéva Bardy - Fondation Tara Ocean
Wilfried N’Sondé dans sa combinaison de survie Wilfried N’Sondé dans sa combinaison de survie © Maéva Bardy - Fondation Tara Ocean
Wilfried N’Sondé, crépuscule sur le Pacifique Wilfried N’Sondé, crépuscule sur le Pacifique © Wilfried N’Sondé
Wilfried N’Sondé, un coup de main aux scientifiques © Wilfried N’Sondé

Wilfried N’Sondé biography

Wilfried N'Sondé was born in Brazzaville (the Republic of Congo) in 1968. In 1973, when he was 4, his family moved to the Paris suburbs in France. He got his baccalaureate in 1986. After studying Law and Political Science at the Sorbonne and Paris X Nanterre university, he settled in Berlin where he lived for twenty-four years.

He was a social worker in disadvantaged areas of the Berlin urban area, tasked with improving reception conditions for immigrants in German society.

He has been living in Paris since the summer of 2015. He was guest professor at Bern university (CH) in the first semester of 2017.

He is a novelist with 5 novels published by éditions Actes Sud:

  • The Heart of the Leopard Children (2007) 5 continents de la Francophonie prize, Senghor de la création littéraire (literary creation) prize
  • The silence of the spirits (2010)
  • Concrete flowers (2012)
  • Berlinoise (2015)
  • One Ocean, Two Seas, Three Continents (2018) winner of 9 literary prizes including the L’Express / BFMTV readers’ prize, and the France bleu Page des libraires prize.


He has also had a novel published by éditions Didier, Orage sur le Tanganyika (Storm on the Tanganyika) (2013)

Wilfried N’Sondé has been translated into Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. He is also an author, composer and singer, his music a compromise between jazz, slam poetry and ballad.

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The Institut français and the project

The mobility of the author Wilfried N'Sondé, as part of his writing project, is supported by the Institut français in Paris, the Institut français of Chile, the French Embassy in Chile, the Tara Foundation, Actes Sud, AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad) and the Villa Gillet.

L'institut français, LAB