Comic Strips that Combat Ideology
an article by Lynda Graba for El Moudjahid (excerpts)
The conference room of the esplanade of Riadh el Feth hosted last Wednesday as part of the activities of the FIBDA 2011 (The Algerian International Federation of Comic Strips), a conference presented by a media specialist from the Congo who studied at the Catholic University of Belgium, Mr Hilaire Mbiye, along with the journalist Ameziane Ferhani.
click on photo to enlarge
The speaker dealt extensively with the ideological impact of comic strips as a means of diffusing the culture of peace through albums published in Africa. This specialist in communication, who has now participated three times in the annual festival, directed his remarks toward the major theme of this edition, "Peace through balloons". He showed how the conference organizers could appreciate and show to the public the 9th art as a vector of humanist ideas and peace.
He demonstrated, with the assistance of comic strip artists and journalists from Algeria, Europe and Africa, how the comic strip can function in situations of crisis to clarify the concepts of peace through the negative sense of this word which means the absence of conflict or through its positive sense as a series of peaceful behaviors and processes that establish a culture of confidence among the people. Instead of the violent language of arms, "Peace is a way to resolve conflicts to attain social integration. This is not just an abstract idea, but to the contrary, an action for the education of the common people, an action that has been recognized by UNESCO," he affirmed in his opening remarks. In his view, the role of the media assumes a system of communication of messages, of knowledge, and of cultural and political practices. "They can be 'made to order thoughts' but often they remain sufficiently ambivalent and capable of conveying the best or the worst. They play upon the emotions and privilege the sensational" . . .
Comic strips are considered in Africa as a true educational medium. "It is an instrument of pedagogy that contributed during the 1950's to the struggle against disease, for conserving the environment and for peaceful coexistence" . . . The speaker mentioned examples ... in Senegal, Congo and sub-Saharan Africa on the themes of inter-religious dialogue, cultural identity, unity as a force for peace in Rwanda and Burundi or consciousness-raising for cultural diversity among ethnic groups such as Tutsi and Hutu, sensibilization about child-soldiers, sexual violence, etc. ...
"Better a simple image than a long discourse and the comic strip fights for the dignity that mankind needs to regain," he concluded.
(Click here for a French version of this article)
Question(s) related to this article:
Can popular art help us in the quest for truth and justice?,
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LATEST READER COMMENT:
CPNN has received the following message from Marcel in Africa:
My name is Marcel Niyungi Bin Yungi, I am an artist peacemaker based in Nairobi, in Kenya. I use comics to promote a culture of peace. Some of my works can be found online at www.peace.ca/marcelscomicstrips.htm. Currently, I am publishing a bimonthly comic series for young people entitled "The Adventures of Kialu for Peace" (please find below a brief summary and attached an advert).
I am writing to inquire about CPNN and would like to be part of it.
I thank you in advance for your cooperation and look forward to hearing from you.
ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF KIALU FOR PEACE
When we listen to the news, read the newspapers... a day doesn't pass without violence or a threat of violence. Our daily life is full of fear of harm; violencwe has escalated, it is everywhere: at home, at work places, at schools, on the streets,etc in every continent.
The solution to bring about and maintain a peaceful world lies in our hands, in our willingness and commitment to do what is good and peaceful to ourselves, to others and to the environment.
The Adventures of Kialu for Peace are a non-commercial, apolitical bi-monthly comic series, published by Jipa Moyo COMICS (jipa moyo is Kiswahili for take courage),whose objective is to promote a culture of peace.
2.TARGET GROUP: Young people.
3.THE COMIC SERIES
The Adventures of Kialu for peace are an ongoing serial publication. Each series focuses on a particular form of violence, abuse, depravity, anti-social behavior, environmental deterioration,etc. They are not only educational but also entertaining.
4.KIALU, THE HEROINE
4.1.WHO IS SHE?
Kialu is a brave girl from a small village in Africa who is serving humanity through her good deeds by the help of three powers contained in a magic stick that she acquired from an old woman.
4.2.WHY THE NAME OF KIALU?
The name "Kialu" has its origin from Bambole Kingdom, one of the vast Kingdoms in history of Africa. . ...more.