Ogechi Akudo Ugwumba


Social realities such as immigration, racial discrimination, marriage, corruption, prostitution, slavery and unemployment are thematic preoccupations of Balogun's L'Enfer au pays des blancs. Previous studies on this novel have dwelt largely on the theme of immigration with less attention paid to the other social realities mentionned and how Balogun represents them in his works. This work therefore examines these social realities as represented by Balogun, with a view to depicting his outlook on these social realities and their effects on the illegal immigrant Africans in Europe.

Postcolonial theory was adopted as framework to interrogate the Us-Other mentality of the colonisers and the colonised. Otherness, subalternityand stereotypes are concepts adopted to examine Balogun’s representations of social realities in L’Enfer au pay des blancs.

The novel depicts the sufferings of African immigrants in Europe, especially those without proper documentation, who, he refers to as ''des sans papier' (those without paper). These African immigrants are stereotyped as those perpetrating all the evils in Europe. They live like slaves and must always hide from the police to avoid repatriation. Balogun insists that one is better off living in one's country than living in another man's country. He also appeals to African leaders to help find an adequate solution to the problem of illegal migration.

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