Just as a reminder, anyone who is around NYC owes it to themselves to go see Africa Comics the first ever exhibit of comics from that part of the world at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Africa Comics includes 32 artists or 2-person artists’ teams from all over the continent of Africa, including Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Togo.
The BBC has a long piece on the show and some downloadable samples.
Muniania: “We read a lot of what we used to call BD. Bandes dessinees.”
MW: “Literally drawn strips.”
LM: Yes. “There you go. Tintin. But sometimes it was so removed from our own reality that we wanted to make it our own. So we started drawing. There were some very famous comic books around in Kinshasa. You know anyone who grew up back in the 70s will tell you about this. And their subjects were about us. You know, Kinshasa, by night, Kinshasa the music scene, politics, police. So it was really about that. And you know children who grew up reading this started drawing left and right.”
Those children were the first generation of Africans to grow up in urban areas after independence in the early 60s. They expected a lot from their African leaders. And often they didn’t get it.
Some of that first generation of young, smart and often critical African comic book artists are featured in this show in New York. Their pens are trained on subjects like colonialism, foreign aid, corruption, elitism, and female genital mutilation.
The show is up until March 18th.