Olivier Dubois, a hostage far from the stage

  • solidarity

Tuesday 5 July 2022

The only French hostage in the world, Olivier Dubois has been kept prisoner in Mali since 8 April 2021. Show your support for this Lycée Mistral alumnus and long-time friend of the Festival by signing our petition.

Portrait de Olivier Dubois © DR

Let us tell you a story and pass it on to you so you can make it yours and pass it on in turn, so that we can all write the ending together…

We’re counting on you… let us all be modern-day heralds.

Once upon a time there was a child of this country, born in Créteil and raised in Avignon by his Martinican mother and his Swiss father. Growing up between two sisters in this blended family, he would make up stories… playing the part sometimes of a paladin, sometimes of a knight or a simple squire facing dungeons and dragons… he already saw himself not at the top of the world, but why not as a hero telling his stories.

As he grew older, his desire to discover other cultures led him to leave his beloved Vaucluse behind. Once he’d mastered the language of Molière and the dialect of the Lumière brothers, he decided to see and understand the world. An ambitious quest that would see him spend his young adulthood learning as much as he could about others: Paris was no longer enough, and Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and Uzbekistan welcomed him for a time before China opened its doors to him. His long journeys only strengthened his desire to tell stories, and he chose the pen as his tool to talk about the people he met and the lives he saw.

He returned to France after a detour through Canada, but restlessness drove him to Mali, where he would settle down with the woman who would be his companion for seven years…

Becoming a father and going through a separation did nothing to quench his desire to show the world what life in Mali is like. And it’s in 2021… that this story, like so many stories that reach a crossroads, became theatrical and tragic, and took centre stage. On his way to meet a Jihadist lieutenant to show us this world so different from ours, he was abducted.

This man, this father, this son, this brother, is Olivier Dubois… the only French hostage in the world.

This story, as we’re telling it to you, unfolds every day for Olivier and for our family in different realities. It falls to us now to inform and alert people about this deprivation of liberty. Signing our petition today turns you into an actor of his liberation. Will we stay seated and remain simple spectators?

What’s going on backstage? Who’s the director? Who are the main actors? The supporting cast, the extras…? If we know the cast by now, the play itself and its happy ending remain to be written.

Let’s all, together, tell his story and bring down the final curtain.

Let this Shakespearean tragedy have a Brechtian happy ending!