Jan Eliot reports back on her trip to Algiers

Jan Eliot was invited to speak at the 2eme Festival International de la Bande Dessinee in Algiers. The festival was an international event with cartoonists coming from all over Africa. She’s back and has a write-up of her experience on her blog.

It was a real honor to meet these and other women cartoonists at the exhibition. It was an honor to meet all the other cartoonists as well… all with their own version of cartooning, most of it politcally driven. Comic strips for amusement and social comment, like Stone Soup, are not very common there.

Cartooning is serious business in places where civil war reigns, leaders are despots, rights are trampled, censorship is everyday and jail is not at all out of the question. Many of these cartoonists do not live in their home countries because there are warrants out for their arrest… or because they simply can’t function there. This was true for several of the cartoonists I met. Gihen from Tunisia lives in Rome. Tayo lives in Britain. Many take flight to Paris, or Italy, or Spain.