Emmelyne Octavie, winner of the Des mots à la scène programme

I choose my words as sincerely as possible, regardless of whether they are sharp or frowned upon.

An unclassifiable artist, capable of moving from poetry to theatre, from song to fiction, Emmelyne Octavie tackles themes of exile and uprooting through her eclectic works. Winner of the Prix de la Dramaturgie Francophone, awarded by the SACD, in 2022, she has just been selected for the Institut français' "Des mots à la scène" programme. 

Published on 30/08/2023

5 min

Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, in 1986, Emmelyne Octavie began writing her first texts at the age of fifteen. After studying literature, languages and the arts in Cayenne and Paris, she published her first book, Masque noir sur face blanche in 2007, followed that same year by a collection of short stories, Sourire aux lèvres et larmes aux yeux. Four years later, she decided to train as an actress with an intensive course at the Cours Florent, then Acting International, before joining the Auvray-Nauroy school for a few months. 

Since 2006, Emmelyne Octavie has combined writing with performing, and in 2016 she presented her first play, Battements de Mots, in which she shares the stage with her guitarist, Thierry Salomon. At the same time, she worked on musical projects and released her first single, Cogne, a plea against violence against women. From 2017 to 2020, three other singles were released, Papa Maman, Pays à 2 routes and Déboussolée. She received two awards for her work at the 11th Lindor Musique Guyanaise ceremony, for author of the year and best original artistic creation. In 2020, she also won the Inédit d'Afrique et d'Outre-mer prize for her text Mère Prison

Actress, poet and playwright, Emmelyne Octavie is an unclassifiable artist. In her writing, she establishes herself as the spokeswoman for a multitude of young people, often kept in the background. She uses her pen in a variety of media, including poetry, song, theatre and chronicles. As a feminist with strong convictions, she has also produced works on violence against women with songs such as Cogne

In her first comic strip, Un billet pour l'exil, she tells the story of Guyanese exiles in France, in a nostalgic exploration of being uprooted and the quest for hope. Through a series of podcasts, Emmelyne Octavie set out to question exile and explore, through personal accounts, the history of a little-known country, rooted in the minds and hearts of those who have left to live elsewhere. 

At the "Francophonies - Des écritures" festival in 2022, Emmelyne Octavie was awarded the Prix de la Dramaturgie Francophone by the SACD. The organisation wanted to highlight her work with her play À contre-courant, nos larmes, which tells the story of the young Wayanas Amerindians in French Guiana and their fight for survival. 

In 2023, Emmelyne Octavie was awarded the "Des mots à la scène" programme of the Institut français. This is a production fund for contemporary French-language playwriting launched by the Institut français, which helps to promote little-known or little-performed authors by encouraging the production of new plays. She also won a number of awards this year, including the Sony Labou Tansi prize for her play Mère Prison

  • 2011


    Emmelyne Octavie publishes her first book, Masque noir sur face blanche.

  • 2016


    She stages her first play, Battements de Mots.

  • 2022


    She receives the Prix de la Dramaturgie Francophone, from the SACD, for À contre-courant, nos larmes.

  • 2023


    Laureate of the Institut français' "Des mots à la scène" programme.

L'institut français, LAB