If you are like me, everything you learned about Congo and the Congolese people as a young person, you learned from Tintin In the Congo.
And that was the cleaned-up redrawn version. Today,Arsenal Pulp Press are doing their best to fight back with Postcards From Congo, a comprehensive graphic history of the African nation, in which author and illustrator Edmund Trueman explores the fractious story of the country. Featuring a foreword by historian Didier Gondola, Professor of African History at John Hopkins University, Postcards From Congo brings Congo's history, not widely known to Western readers, to comic book form. "From resistance against colonialism to the fight for independence and the self-determination to make a life in an almost stateless place, Postcards From Congo depicts how the Congolese people have resisted and survived in order to take control of their lives and the country they call home." And it is done in a style that is not a million miles from that of Herge.
The graphic novel shows how Congolese musicians have spread their language across Africa through popular music, and how Congolese women have spent decades dealing with sexist political legislation to become leaders in local business. "From resistance against colonialism to the fight for independence and the self-determination to make a life in an almost stateless place, Postcards from Congo depicts how the Congolese people have resisted and survived in order to take control of their lives and the country they call home."
The Democratic Republic of Congo, the second-largest country in Africa by area, has a fractured and bloody history, variously undone by decades of colonialism, civil war, corruption, and totalitarian rule. The country has played a crucial role in the economic growth of the Global North — but in doing so has suffered immensely. So many seminal advances in technology were possible only through the extraction of materials from Congo, from rubber to copper to uranium to coltan. In each case, the Congolese people paid a great price exacerbated by the weight of colonial exploitation and dictatorial rule. And then being depicted in that Tintin book…
Postcards From Congo is published by Arsenal Pulp Press today. Here is an exclusive preview: