From 29th June to 1st July 2022, the ICGNCC or International Conference of Graphic Novels and Comics took place in Dûn Laoghaire, the harbour of Dublin, as a hybrid event. The conference was hosted by Dûn Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT) in association with Studies in Comics (Intellect) and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (Routledge) in the Lexicon Library and Cultural Centre of Dûn Laoghaire.
Raphaela von Weichs, senior researcher of the ERC Artivism team, participated in the conference panel ‘Comics and Conscience: Ethics, Morality, and Great Responsibility’ in-person. She presented a paper on ‘Comics, Artivism, Coding, and (Auto)-Censorship in Cameroon’, arguing that in recent years, comics have become a popular medium for young artists in Africa who seeks new means and ways of expression. However, while playing with different formats, graphic styles and narrative forms, comics also face cultural rejection and political repression. Raphaela von Weichs’ contribution explores the delicate relationship between art and activism, and censorship and auto-censorship in comic art created under political authoritarianism in Africa with a focus on the Republic of Cameroon. It is based on ethnographic research on the International Festival of Comic Art in Cameroon, and takes an anthropological point of view on ethics and morality, reflexivity, and responsibility in the study of comic art.
The conference was highly stimulating hybrid event, hosting comic scholars from Ireland, Great Britain, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, India, Russia, United States of America, among others. After a break due to the Covid pandemic, the dual meeting, in-person and online, was a great opportunity to establish and refresh the network of scholars in research on comics and graphic novels.