theater Villeneuve-lez-Avignon

Jérôme-Michel Tossavi/

Dramatist, director and poet

Jérôme-Michel Tossavi


Jérôme-Michel Tossavi was born in Benin in 1986. He studied at the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, and at the Paris Nanterre University, France, and is currently a multimedia archivist at the Institut Français in Benin.

Jérôme-Michel Tossavi works with projects linked to books and public reading, and in 2016 created the Association Mignon-Tourbillon with which he organised and directed the first poetry festival in West Africa, ‘NUIT POETIQUE’, and also the first competition for literary excellence in school and

college students, the Prix Challenge les Amis du Livre. Having taken part in numerous writers’ residencies in Africa, Jérôme-Michel Tossavi represented his country at the 2014 poets’ residency organised by OSIWA on the island of Gorée, Senegal, and attended the workshop Univers des Mots in Guinée Conakry with his writing project ‘Démocratie chez les grenouilles’. This work, an animal fable, was selected for the 2019 Prix RFI Théâtre. A winner of the Léopold Sédar Senghor international poetry prize, Jérôme-Michel Tossavi is an author, poet and dramatist whose writing examines individual and collective freedoms as well as the political ills of Africa.

During his residency at the Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, Jérôme-Michel Tossavi worked on the completion of his theatrical project ‘Démocratie chez les grenouilles’, an extended metaphor where two frogs (Mother Frog and Father Frog) resist an invasion by their neighbours. It’s a humorous tale, rambling and fragmented, which depicts the life of the frogs and their victory over the invading eels. The work is presented as an animal fable and emphasises freedom in a context of social asphyxiation.