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South Africa, comic reporting for freedom of expression

The Institut français of South Africa and Goethe-Institut have collaborated on a residency project entitled “Comic Reporting: A New Journalistic Format for Freedom of Expression” in Cape Town, an effort supported by the Franco-German Cultural Fund.
Last June, a four-week residency in Cape Town united three renowned graphic arts for comic reporting in association with three young South African investigative reports, based on the theme of migration. Their collaborative work helped produce, in a high-quality innovative format, articles able to reach the largest possible number of people, particularly a young public.


Each author was invited to team up with a young South African journalist to work on social issues related to the strong (economic and political) immigration experienced by South Africa for years. For a period of one month, each ‘‘pair’’ carried out investigative work to give shape to a journalistic narration in the form of high quality comic reporting.

Open Book Festival

On September 5-22, the authors in residence will present their work at the Open Book event in Cape Town, a major literary festival in South Africa. This will give the three pairs to highlight their pending work as well as their storyboards.
A coproduction of German, French and South African publishers will enable the publication of the work carried out within the residency, also soon to be discovered on line.


First pair:
  • Su Opperman is an illustrator and artist living in Cape Town. She is the head of the Comic Art Unit of the CCIBA (the Centre for Comics, Illustrative and Book Arts, affiliated with the University of Stellenbosch. The Cape Town underground comics and art scene remains the prime inspiration for her artwork.
  • Lindokuhle Nkosi is a South African writer whose textual work often combines installation and performance. Her work forever insightful, rich, and a reflection of reality.
Second pair:
  • Hippolyte is a French comic artist, photographer and illustrator, specialized for years in comic reporting, combining photography and drawing. He is the author of about 20 books (Dracula, Les Ombres, Les Enfants de Kinshasa, etc.), and has done comic reporting on Africa for Revue XXI.
  • Jarryn Katia is a writer, journalist, broadcast media consultant and social change communication specialist. He also runs an innovation and design consultancy firm that supports major social programs.
Third pair:
  • Born in Berlin in 1975, Kai Pfeiffer studied at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee from 1996-2003. He works mainly on comic fiction, often of an experimental nature, as well as on documentary comics. Since 2011, he has been working with Belgian artist Dominique Goblet. Their first graphic novel, Plus si entente, was published by Frémok & Actes sud in the comic section in 2014.
  • Sarah Rose is a journalism student at the University of Rhodes. Hailing from Somerset West, she has studied and worked in Grahamstown, where she has specialized in writing and editing. She is also passionate about drawing and exploring the world.

Photo : Su Opperman © DR