Identities and exchanges
Identities and exchanges • Sujet zéro 2020
Between America and Africa
compréhension de l'oral • compréhension de l'écrit • expression écrite
Intérêt du sujet • Il est courant d'étudier les mouvements migratoires, mais on se penche rarement sur les mouvements de retour au pays d'origine, et la façon dont ils sont vécus ! C'est ce que propose ce sujet.
Vous disposez d'abord de 5 minutes pour prendre connaissance de l'intégralité du sujet. Puis vous écouterez 3 fois le document 1. À l'issue de la 3e écoute, vous organiserez votre temps comme vous le souhaitez pour traiter la compréhension de l'oral, la compréhension de l'écrit et un sujet d'expression écrite.
Document 1Returning home to Ghana
© Newsy / DR
voir la vidéo (jusqu'à 1'33)
Source: Newsy, 16 February 2017
I was in Africa now. It was heady, draining, and wholly new to me. Auma1's sky-blue car was so old that it often needed to be pushed in order to get the engine into gear. I'd ill-advisedly bought new white sneakers to wear on the trip, and within a day, after all the pushing we did, they'd turned reddish brown, stained with the cinnamon-hued dust of Nairobi.
Barack was more at home in Nairobi than I was, having been there once before. I moved with the awkwardness of a tourist, aware that we were outsiders, even with our black skin. People sometimes stared at us on the street. I hadn't been expecting to fit right in, obviously, but I think I arrived there naively believing I'd feel some visceral connection to the continent I'd grown up thinking of as a sort of mythic motherland as if going there would bestow2 on me some feeling of completeness. But Africa, of course, owed us nothing. It's a curious thing to realize, the in-betweenness one feels being African American in Africa. It gave me a hard-to-explain feeling of sadness, a sense of being unrooted in both lands.
Michelle Obama, Becoming, 2018 (adapted)
1. Auma is Barack's half-sister.
2. bestow on me: give me.
After 15 years in the USA, Ifemelu is back in her home city, Lagos. This is one of her posts on her blog.
Lagos has never been, will never be, and has never aspired to be like New York, or anywhere else for that matter. Lagos has always been indisputably itself, but you would not know this at the meeting of the Nigerpolitan Club, a group of young returnees who gather every week to moan about the many ways that Lagos is not like New York as though Lagos had ever been close to being like New York. Full disclosure: I am one of them. Most of us have come back to make money in Nigeria, to start businesses, to seek government contracts and contacts. Others have come with dreams in their pockets and a hunger to change the country, but we spend all our time complaining about Nigeria, and even though our complaints are legitimate, I imagine myself as an outsider saying: go back where you came from! If your cook cannot make the perfect Panini, it is not because he is stupid. It is because Nigeria is not a nation of sandwich-eating people and his last oga1 did not eat bread in the afternoon. So he needs training and practice. And Nigeria is not a nation of people with food allergies, not a nation of picky eaters for whom food is about distinctions and separations. It is a nation of people who eat beef and chicken, and cow skin and intestines and dried fish in a single bowl of soup, and it is called assorted and so get over yourselves and realize that the way of life here is just that, assorted.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah, 2003
1. his oga: his employer, his boss.
Compréhension de l'oral 10 points
Vous rendrez compte du document 1 (vidéo), en français, en prêtant particulièrement attention aux points suivants :
sa nature et son thème principal ;
les personnes qui s'expriment et leur témoignage ;
la fonction et la portée du document (relater, informer, convaincre, critiquer, dénoncer, etc.).
Compréhension de l'écrit 10 points
Answer the following questions in English.
▶ 1. Document 2. Give an account of document 2 in English and in your own words, paying particular attention to the nature of the text, the situation (place and main action), the writer's feelings and the reasons why she feels that way.
▶ 2. Document 3. Give an account of document 3 in English and in your own words, paying particular attention to:
the main topic,
the differences between the two cities mentioned,
Ifemelu's opinion and feelings about the place she has moved to.
▶ 3. Documents 1, 2 et 3. Consider the three documents (1, 2 and 3) and explain briefly what the different situations have in common.
Expression écrite 10 points
Vous traiterez, en anglais, un seul des deux sujets suivants, au choix. Répondez en 120 mots au moins.
You are going on a gap year and have to choose between two possibilities. Which one would you choose? Explain why.
ph © MBI / Alamy Stock Photo
1. Volunteering as a schoolteacher in Ghana
ph © Matt Champlin / Getty Images
2. Backpacking in New Zealand
Comment on the following statement by American writer Robin Hobb: “Home is people. Not a place.”
Les clés du sujet
Compréhension de l'oral
Identifier les caractéristiques clés du document (1re écoute)
Affiner sa compréhension (2e et 3e écoutes)
Compréhension de l'écrit
Comprendre les documents
Organiser ses réponses
▶ 1. Veillez à indiquer tous les éléments mentionnés dans la consigne, notamment en commençant par les attentes par rapport à ce voyage, qui sont d'autant plus grandes que la déception va l'être.
▶ 2. Après avoir présenté la situation d'Ifemelu, vous pouvez énumérer ce qui différencie les deux villes, puis nuancer puisque si au départ l'une est vivement critiquée, c'est finalement pour mieux mettre en avant ses particularités.
▶ 3. Analysez quel mouvement est décrit dans chaque document, et quel est le ressenti des personnes, qui relève d'un certain paradoxe. Utilisez des mots de liaison exprimant la similarité.
Sujet A • Key ideas and a few tools
Key ideas. What do you have in mind when you hear the word “home”? Both ideas mentioned by Hobb (people and place) can occur to you. Maybe they are the two sides of the same coin! As the subject is related to the theme of migration and travelling back to one's roots (racines), you may use the examples in the document to support your point.
A few tools. In the first part, you can see to what extent (dans quelle mesure) “home” can be defined as a place in the usual sense. Then, you can show that without the people we love, there is no real home. A sentence to conclude could draw the two ideas together.
Compréhension de l'oral
Zhinga Powel: I feel like a foreigner here, because you are a foreigner here. They still consider me to be “white”.
Journalist (voice over): The Ghanaian government is encouraging people of African descent to return home to Ghana – an opportunity 3,000 Americans have taken. We spoke with three black women who were born and raised in America and immigrated to Ghana, about their experience.
Lois Okudzeto: I used to just get totally fed up with everything being somehow connected to race in America. I always found it oppressive, personally, and so I wanted to get away from that. That didn't quite happen because when you are too fair they say you're “white” here!
Zhiga Powel: They'll say a “obruni” like, they call me a “obruni”, I think that's how you say, when they are saying like, “white person”.
Lois Okudzeto: When I go to the village, these people have never been out of the village and done many things. Immediately, you know, little children are calling me “yevu”, that means “white person”.
Monica Amponsah: Some things are pushed on you here, ok, you can afford it. You have to be able to afford it. You may say, “no, I don't want that”, “yes you do, Madam, yes.”
Journalist (voice over): For Ghanaians, the US is the second most common destination to emigrate to, which makes the idea of leaving America all the more puzzling to some.
Lois Okudzeto: It's difficult to convince people that there's a life outside the United States.
Zhinga Powel: There's not only opportunity in America, you can also come here and get the same opportunities, or even better.
Proposition de compte rendu en français
Cet extrait d'un reportage télévisé américain présente un phénomène migratoire qui ne concerne pour l'heure que 3 000 personnes : le gouvernement ghanéen incite des Américains d'origine africaine à venir s'installer au Ghana.
des points en +
Le Ghana est indépendant depuis 1957. La langue officielle est l'anglais, ce qui explique la facilité des migrations.
Le journaliste interviewe trois femmes qui ont tenté l'expérience, parfois depuis des années. Leur ressenti principal est un sentiment d'exclusion : elles se sentent étrangères dans ce pays, étant qualifiées de « blanches » même si elles sont noires. L'une explique qu'elle est poussée à la consommation sous prétexte qu'elle en aurait forcément les moyens. Une autre regrette de devoir à nouveau vivre ce qu'elle avait cherché à fuir : la stigmatisation par la couleur de peau.
Enfin, le journaliste note que ce phénomène est surprenant pour les Ghanéens car les États-Unis sont pour eux la deuxième destination d'émigration afin d'y trouver une vie meilleure. Pourtant, les femmes interrogées assurent qu'il y a autant d'opportunités, voire plus, au Ghana.
Ce document répète certains mots clés : foreigner, white, opportunities… Cela facilite le repérage.
Compréhension de l'écrit
▶ 1. In this extract from her autobiography, Michelle Obama relates her arrival in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband to meet her sister-in-law. As this is her first time there, she is all the more disconcerted by her lack of sense of belonging that she expected to feel. Although she is black, she stands out and feels sad that, as an African American, she seems to belong to neither of the two places.
disconcerted : décontenancé
sense of belonging : sentiment d'appartenance
to fit in : s'intégrer
▶ 2. The narrator has come from New York to live in Lagos, Nigeria. She is full of professional expectations, but she complains about how different the place is from the US, along with her group of expatriates – a difference exemplified by food. In spite of this, she is aware that the cities are not comparable, because their way of life is intrinsically different, and is just in accordance with the respective continents.
▶ 3. The three documents stage people of African origin who decide to go back to Africa – and they all convey a sense of loss and an in-betweenness, as all the characters express that they somehow can't fit in.
Sujet A (1st possibility)
If I had to choose how to spend a gap year, I would volunteer as a schoolteacher in Ghana. As this is an English-speaking country, I could improve my English and speak more fluently, and this would also enable me to learn about Ghanaian culture, which I know very little about.
But of course, the idea of teaching would prevail in my choice. What better way to learn about a country than to educate children? Moreover, teaching would be gratifying and fulfilling. It could prove useful in my CV for a future job.
to prevail : prévaloir
to prove useful : s'avérer utile
However, this choice wouldn't prevent me from discovering the country. Indeed, I could undertake journeys backpacking during my spare time. Thus I could combine business with pleasure!
The word “home” is usually represented by a house. And indeed, it is true that home refers to the place where you belong, where you feel at ease, the place you miss when you are far from home, and you feel “homesick”.
Yet, what would any place be without the people we care for? For when we miss home, it is not only the building where we live that we miss, but also those we cherish: our parents, our siblings, our friends, even our pets. Hence the saying, “home is where the heart is”.
to belong : appartenir
to feel homesick : avoir le mal du pays
siblings : les frères et sœurs
Consequently, I share Robin Hobb's viewpoint. There is no comfort if there is no love, and there is no home if there are not the people we love there.