The medium of comics is widespread and very popular in large parts of Congolese society and in its multifaceted diversity, it combines various strategies of expression in the visual arts. In this digital project, the International Comic Salon Erlangen would like to present the variety of Congolese comics by means of individual contributions to particular phenomena and perspectives created in experimental and decolonial collaboration of the participating artists and curators from Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, the Congolese diaspora and Erlangen.
Comics and popular images as a grassroots system of collective knowledge production: Olivia Berkowicz analyzes alternative distribution architectures of popular comics using the example of Rocky Prod. As a self-organized media culture, the magazines and books form a local ecosystem that functions independently of state and postcolonial power structures and institutions.
After the Comic Salon 2020 was cancelled, the artists of the project “Popular Images” had to wait two years for their trip to Erlangen. This year in June it finally happened, the International Comic Salon 2022 could take place – and so could the long-awaited exhibition! Three of the artists from Kinshasa have captured their impressions and experiences of their stay in Erlangen in drawings.
The multimedia exhibition “Popular Images” showed works by a total of ten artists from Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and the Congolese diaspora: Barly Baruti, Asimba Bathy, Thembo Kash, Al’Mata, Papa Mfumu’eto 1er, Rocky Prod., Santa Kakese, Judith Kaluaji, Yann Kumbozi and Tétshim.
The preparations for the 20th International Comic Salon Erlangen are in full swing, and the exhibition setup for the Popular Images project has also begun. The spatial concept and design of the exhibition is being implemented by the artist Julien Kneuse le Ray from Augsburg. The first guests have also already arrived: The two artists Judith Kaluaji and Santa Kakese are participating in the Erlangen International Comic Workshop this year. We have collected a few impressions of the preparations and are very much looking forward to the opening next Thursday at 12 noon – and especially to all visitors! Everybody is welcome!