Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature


20 years after the genocide of the Tutsis, one observes within the artistic production dealing with these traumatic events the presence of several comics (or bande dessinée). Yet is this specific mode of expression which often remains associated with lightness, humour and caricature capable to address in a credible fashion such delicate topics as pain, cruelty and death ? How do comics “translate” this 1994 tragedy for the purpose of critically raising awareness and providing memorial accounts while respecting the reader’s sensitivity ? Is there an “appropriate” depiction and where is the frontier between sensational, reliable and emotionally convincing portrayal ? By analyzing eight comics about the Rwandan genocide published between 2000 and 2014, this paper engages into a discussion about the potentials and risks this dynamic art form can encounter when figuratively narrating such extreme violence. More generally, it contributes to the debate about issues at stake concerning the relationship between Art and (indirect) trauma in contemporary postcolonial contexts.



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