After spending more than 30 years in Senegal, Laurence Gavron, who acquired Senegalese nationality, died yesterday. She devoted most of her cinematographic and literary activities to promoting the culture and heritage of this country that she loved so much.
The Franco-Senegalese filmmaker, photographer and woman of letters, Laurence Gavron, known for her work on memory, died in the night from Wednesday to Thursday at the age of 68 in Paris, following a long illness, learned Aps from his family. The artist, born in Paris in 1955, began visiting Senegal more than thirty years ago. There she made documentary films, wrote novels and carried out photographic work reflecting an attachment to a country, its arts, its history and its culture. She had lived in Dakar since 2002 and acquired Senegalese nationality in 2008. She was preparing a film on Alioune Diop, the founder of the Présence Africaine magazine and the publishing house of the same name.
Senegal and aspects of the life of the Senegalese are at the heart of his four novels: “Marabouts d’ficelle” (La Baleine, 2000), the thrillers “Boy Dakar” (Le Masque, 2008) and “Hivernage” (Le Masque , 2009) and “Fouta Street” (Le Masque, 2017 – 2017 Adventure Novel Prize).
In the cinema, most of his documentaries were made in Senegal, portraying artists – “Ninki Nanka, the Prince of Colobane”, 1991 – portrait of the filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety), “The Master of Speech – El Hadj Ndiaga Mbaye, the memory of Senegal”, 2004, “Samba Diabaré Samb, the guardian of the temple”, 2006, “Yandé Codou Sène, Diva Séeréer”, 2008. She also dives into the life of the communities, directing, in 1999 , “Naar bi, far from Lebanon”, on the Lebanese in Senegal), in 2005, “Saudade in Dakar”, on the Cape Verdeans established in Dakar), in 2008, “Assiko!”, “So far from Vietnam” (2016 ).--
Laurence Gavron is also the author of “There’s no problem! : fragments of African cinemas” (1995), “In the footsteps of the shell eaters” (2000), on archaeological excavations in Sine-Saloum. “Black Jews, the Roots of the Olive Tree” (2015) and “The Father of the Groom” (2022) also appear in his filmography. The feature-length fiction film “Hivernage”, based on his eponymous novel, had not yet been released.
Holder of a master’s degree in modern literature, cinema option, in 1977, Laurence Gavron began her career as a journalist and film critic by publishing articles or film reviews for various newspapers and magazines including “Positif”, “Cahiers du cinéma”, “Liberation” and “Le Monde”. She also worked for television, as an assistant, journalist and director on “Cinéma, Cinémas”, “Etoiles et Toiles”, “Métropolis”, “Absolument Cinéma”, “After the release”…
Laurence Gavron began directing documentary films in 1980 with the portrait of Eddie Constantine, “Just like Eddie”. Short fiction films followed, “Fin de soir”, “Il maestro” (1986). Gavron was also a photographer. She produced a series on salt cultivation in Palmarin, the Fulani in Djolof and Ferlo, and cotton work in eastern Senegal. These works were the subject of exhibitions in Gorée, “Regards sur cours” (2006, 2013), at the town hall of Dakar-Plateau (2006), at the Goethe Institut (2007), at the Cours Sainte-Marie de Hann ( 2007), at the Henriette-Bathily Women’s Museum in Gorée (2007), at the French Institute in Dakar (2011).