In 2014 alone, nearly 3,000 people have died while fleeing Africa across the Mediterranean Sea – including some 500 in one incident in September.
What reasons motivate so many African migrants to undertake the dangerous crossing to Europe? What ethical questions should inform our responses to patterns of mass migration?
Acclaimed African writer Véronique Tadjo will address those questions in a talk entitled “In Search of a Better Life: The Perils of Hope,” at New College of Florida.
Tadjo will discuss the issue of migration in the context of the Senegalese film “La Pirogue,” which is about a group of people enduring one such Mediterranean crossing in a small wooden boat.
Tadjo’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, in Chae Auditorium of the Heiser Natural Sciences Center on the college’s bayfront campus.
In conjunction with Tadjo’s talk, there will be three free screenings of “La Pirogue,” which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival and was a New York Times Critics Choice selection.
The screenings will be:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m. – New College, Jane Bancroft Cook Library, Room 248
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m. – Selby Public Library, Geldbart Auditorium
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m. – New College, Four Winds Café

Tadjo is professor and head of French and Francophone Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. She is a poet and novelist, a public intellectual and critic, a writer of creative nonfiction and children’s literature, and regarded as one of the greatest African francophone authors of our time.
Her most recent book is “Far From My Father,” with an English translation published in 2014. Her previous novel, Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice,  was named an NPR Favorite Book of 2010. The original edition in French won the Le Grand Prix Littéraire d’Afrique Noire. Both books were translated into English by New College Professor of French Amy Baram Reid.
Tadjo’s talk and the film screenings are sponsored by New College of Florida, the Office of the Provost, the Divisions of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Anthropology and Gender Studies programs, and by the Alliance Française de Sarasota.
# # #
Contact: David Gulliver, News Services Manager, 941-487-4154,
New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 38 states and 20 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.

Related News


New College of Florida Welcomes Next Class of Daughters for Life Scholars
August 25, 2015

Four more young women from the Middle East will attend New College of Florida this fall on full four-year scholarships…


Campus Announcement
May 8, 2015

Members of the New College Community: This message is to inform you of the reason for the Sarasota Police and…


Emmy, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Hedrick Smith To Open New Topics New College Lecture Series
October 21, 2014

America is now actually Two Americas, separated by a chasm of opportunity and wealth, says Hedrick Smith, best-selling author and…