The 8th MBOA International Festival of Comic Art in Cameroon takes place from 29 November – 2 December in Douala, and from 6th – 9th December in Yaounde.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Comics and Education’. What do comics have to offer for the field of education? Which institutions respond to the strong emergence of this field of communication and education in Cameroon?
The programme touches on various aspects of the main theme. Not only do comics appeal to the young who start reading while interpreting sequential images, also comics of all genre are increasingly read by adults all over the world. And this despite the fact that by a majority of adults they are considered as a medium of childhood and pre-literary pastime.
Comics are increasingly playing a role in the pedagogics of adult education, in low alphabetisation populations, in sensitisation and education campaigns. International organisations, governmental and non-governmental institutions are recognising the utility of sequential art in explaining difficult topics in a comprehensive and fascinating way. Apart from such educative campaigns, according to the organisers of the festival (director Hervé Noutchaya Tsémo and festival delegate Yannick Deubou Sikoué), Cameroonian authors and artists produce at least 10 comic books, series and magazines per year (Presentation du MBDF 2017). This, under circumstances of difficult production and marketing conditions, is a considerable achievement of comic artists, editors and passionates.
The festival exists since 2010 and is held annually. It is organised by the Collectif A3 (Yaounde) and the associationTrait Noir (Douala). The programme comprises encounters between the public and professionals, meetings among artists, editors, and publishers, display of exhibitions, workshops all around comic art, school visits and interventions, dedications and conferences, and special workshops for training students of graphic and plastic art. Special guests are invited, e.g. Emmanuel Lépage (La Terre sans Mal 1999, Muchacho 2003, Un Printemps à Tchernobyl 2012, La Lune est blanche 2014).