Fajar ou l’odyssée de l’homme qui rêvait d’être poète

5 min

The Institut français supports Adama Diop's new project: Fajar ou l'odyssée de l'homme qui rêvait d'être poète

In Fajar ou l'odyssée de l'homme qui rêvait d'être poète, the actor Adama Diop turns to directing with a thrilling tale at the crossroads of artistic disciplines. Between film, theatre and music and inspired by his own story, he follows the tortuous journey of a young Senegalese man in search of his identity and future. 

As part of the “Des mots à la scène” programme, the project received support from the Institut français for its development. 

© Simon Gosselin

A multifaceted actor

Born in Dakar in 1981, Adama Diop discovered theatre at high school, but initially turned to journalism for his studies at Cheikh-Anta-Diop University in Dakar. In 2002, he was accepted at the Conservatoire de Montpellier, followed by the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique in Paris in 2005. After acting in productions by Marion Aubert and Marion Guerrero, it was in 2016 that he gained recognition for his role in Julien Gosselin's theatrical saga 2666. This was followed by a series of prestigious roles, including in Macbeth, directed by Stéphane Braunschweig, Bajazet by Frank Castorf and The Cherry Orchard by Tiago Rodrigues, which earned him the best actor award from the Syndicat de la critique. Fajar ou l'odyssée de l'homme qui rêvait d'être poète is his first work as a director. 


A powerful directorial debut

With Fajar ou l'odyssée de l'homme qui rêvait d'être poète, Adama Diop reveals his skills as a writer in his directorial debut. With a string quartet of viola, violin, ngoni and mandingo flute on stage, he follows in the footsteps of Malal, a young Senegalese man who dreams of being a poet. Inspired by his own journey as a Senegalese immigrant seeking to become an actor, he reports on French realities, where isolation, homesickness and the spectre of racism come together. 


A modern and emotional tale

In this moving play, Adama Diop immerses himself in the hot and bustling city of Dakar and questions the difficulty of finding a way between traditions and urban culture. He creates a modern tale, which combines multiple styles and images, bringing together film, theatre and music. His writing takes on musical qualities as he combines Wolof and French for a disruptive dive into parallel worlds, reducing his hero to migrant status. 


A project supported by the “Des Mots à la scène” fund

Fajar ou l'odyssée de l'homme qui rêvait d'être poète is a recipient of the production fund for contemporary dramatic writing from Africa and the Caribbean, Des Mots à la scène, launched by the Institut français. It promotes the staging of new dramatic works by young authors by participating in the establishment of distribution networks. Performed for the first time in January 2024 at the Maison de la Culture de Grenoble, the play will go on tour throughout France with dates planned at the Théâtre National de Strasbourg, the Théâtre du Nord and Théâtre 71 in Malakoff.