The Afropolitan Comics exhibition focuses on the diversity of African comics through an innovative experience, which sets a parallel between South African comics and comics from other African countries.
Afropolitan Comics showcases the work of 16 artists and is organised around three themes: “Autobiography”, “Heroes and History” and “Folklore and Future”. It features the work of major comics artists from all over the continent, including South African artists Loyiso Mkize (who designed the exhibition’s poster) and Luke Molver, as well as Nigerian artist Tayo Fatunla and Cameroonian artist Reine Dibussi.
This virtual exhibition has been conceived within the context of the current coronavirus pandemic. It is an innovative multimedia experience combining artworks, analysis by the exhibition’s curators, as well as interviews with the selected artists.
Afropolitan Comics is the second project in the field of comics conducted by the French Institute of South Africa, after the Art of Comics exhibition held at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2019.
Comics have been at the centre of French popular culture for more than a century. In 2019, 48 million comic books have been sold in France, with bande dessinée (comics and manga) representing 16% of book sales. Comics are not only widely read among the French population; they are also considered as a full-fledged form of art – comic strips are often designated by the name ‘Ninth Art’ in French.
“Comics are at the crossroads of literature and visual arts – with strong connections to animation movies and video games.
“Comics are accessible for people of all backgrounds, youngsters or adults, men or women, and offer a very diverse range of styles and topics, from science fiction to superhero stories, from historical accounts to contemporary narratives.”