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Les relations franco-kényanes dans les courses de fond : Un processus postcolonial singulier (1960–2019)

Abstract : At the Mexico City Olympics, Kenya won eight medals in athletics. This performance enabled this State, whose independence dated back just four years, to display its identity to the eyes of the world. Kenyan athletics, mainly in middle- and long-distance events, continued to assert itself until it dominated the medal ranking in the 2015 World Championships. However, even if it is a vehicle for emancipation and identity-building, Kenyan athletics is also dependent on external influences. Therefore, even though France and Kenya never had colonial links, they have built interdependent relationships in athletics during the post-colonial era. The purpose of this study is to understand the particular postcolonial process around which these relationships were built, in the absence of colonial ties. We have chosen to conduct this study based on the investigation of minutes of the French Athletics Federation (FFA) committees and the journal L’Athlétisme, the official FFA review. We conducted semi-structured interviews with Kenyan and French athletics actors (athletes, managers, race organizers, and federal officials). These data reveal a continuing domination of Kenya, by France, in athletics. This relationship of domination marks a survival of the colonial order. However, Kenyan athletes’ domination, especially in marathons, contributes to the vulnerability of French performances. The singularity of the postcolonial process studied lies as much in the absence of colonial ties between France and Kenya as in the transformation of a relationship of domination specific to the colonial period.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 23, 2021 - 10:53:50 PM
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Cyril Thomas, Pascal Charroin, Bastien Soule. Les relations franco-kényanes dans les courses de fond : Un processus postcolonial singulier (1960–2019). Stadion - Zeitschrift für Geschichte des Sports und der Körperkultur, Academia Verlag, 2020, 44 (1), pp.204-225. ⟨10.5771/0172-4029-2020-1-204⟩. ⟨hal-03207121⟩



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