• Judith Kaluaji
  • Live: Kinshasa

Everyday Heroines

Comic artist Judith Kaluaji’s stories are inspired by the strong women in her environment in Kinshasa. In her comics the woman is everywhere: sometimes she is femme fatale, in her appearance and words, sometimes the opposite, but the artist always presents the image of a liberated and self-confident woman.

Video: Judith Kaluaji / Video editing: Mukenge/Schellhammer

In this video Judith Kaluaji explains how she came from painting to comics. Despite her young age, she has published several self-produced comics and is considered one of the most promising young artists in Congolese comics. Feminist themes of her self-produced comics frequently reflect the role of women in Congolese society.

In most of her stories, the main characters are strong women who stand out because of their independence, self-confidence and intelligence. Judith Kaluaji explains in this video that her characters are inspired by the women around her in Kinshasa: Women in commerce, business, bureaucracy, etc. Judith Kaluaji wants to support these women with her art, and this is one of the reasons she has established herself in the largely male-dominated art scene.

One characteristic of these women is their extraordinary clothing: With chic attire they express their feminist spirit. When they are well dressed, they feel proud, modern and ambitious. Fashion in general has a long tradition in Kinshasa: the worldwide fame of the “Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes” (“Society of Entertainers and Elegant Persons”) thrives to this day.

Participants in the video: Judith Kaluaji, Cathya Djunga, Joice Dikoko