Johnny chien méchant d'Emmanuel Dongala

With Johnny Chien Méchant, Dongala questions the relations between executioner and victims in a Congo decimated by fratricide conflicts. It is showing the destructive power of tribal wars based on an imagined pure identity but that is still too easily used by politicians to gain legitimacy. Johnny, the child soldier without a past, wants to become “someone important” through the brutal force of his gun. But at the same time a different voice can be heard, the voice of Laokolé, the other narrator of this implacable story who is trying very hard to escape from the horror of the war. Through this polyphonic novel, Dongala calls out to his reader: what can violence bring? How in a chaotic world, bestiality and humanity are fighting each other? What is the war’s fatality? This story raises also the question on our own responsibilities in front of humanitarian disaster.