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"The Night Cleaner", a terrific investigation on the frontline of economic recession, is now available at Dibuka

In 2009, at the peak of economic recession in Europe, the well-known reporter Florence Aubenas ceased to send stories from Afghanistan, Iraq or Kosovo to her newspaper. Instead, she went looking for a job in Caen, a mid-sized city in Normandy. To employers and civil servants of the national employment agency, she presented a blank resume and a all-too-common story: she was a 40-something recently divorced ex-housewife, she had never worked but now needed to, since her ex-husband would not care for her any more. With no specific competences and no work experience, she was quickly oriented to the cleaning sector, an industry where employees pile up short-term contracts (a few hours a day, from one day to one month, never more) and perilously flirt with the minimum wage.

Cleaning holiday resorts, offices or ferries that bring British tourists to Normandy, she befriended people for whom a permanent job as a supermarket cashier is "prestigious", and a refuse collector is "well-paid". Aubenas resigns the day she is proposed a permanent contract - having said she would not want to block such a position. Despite her past adventures in war-zones, her story reveals how unprepared she was to be embattled on the front line of poverty in her home-country. "The Night Cleaner" is the story that results from her experience, a terrible yet fascinating book that lay bare the devastation of economic recession in Europe.

Books - Dibuka

  • 2021-Dibuka-close-june-banner

    Dibuka Library is closed until further notice

    Due to the current situation, and the Level 4 Covid-19 restrictions, your favourite library in town will unfortunately be closed until further notice. Read more
  • 2020-dibuka-re-open3

    Dibuka is reopening, by appointment only!

    The Francophone multimedia library Dibuka is slowly reopening, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, by appointment only. And because we've missed you so much, we, at the French Institute and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg, have prepared some surprise bags for you! SURPRISE BAGS AT DIBUKA WHAT ? We… Read more
  • 2020-DibuKlub-online-1stSem-B

    Programme DibuKlub and DibuKids - February to June 2020

    This year will be full of exciting events and activities at Dibuka. With movies twice a month on Wednesdays for adults and cultural activities twice a month on Saturdays for kids, there is something for everybody! Check out the jam-packed programme we've got for you below: Read more

Opening Hours

> Book your appointment here

Tuesday: 9.30 - 12.30
Thursday: 14.00 - 18.00
Friday: 14.00 - 18.00
Saturday: 9.30 - 12.30


Tel. (+27) 11 646 1115
Fax. (+27) 11 646 1128

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