The first ever cartoon festival in Bamako Mali has been organised under the theme, “Together let us promote peace in Mali.”
During the festival, about 20 selected cartoonists participated in an exhibition as well as a training workshop for budding cartoonists.Organizers hope to make this art popular by promoting the work of the comic strip creators.
‘’ I have met Malian cartoonists who won prizes at festivals and other international events. Unfortunately in Mali, these comic strip creators are not known. So I said to myself that it is necessary to initiate an annual event that will try to allow them to expose their works and know themselves and to make known what they do to the press, the public and so on,’‘ the director of the Bamako caricature festival, Adama Djongo said.
Lovers of the festival appreciate their participation in conferences and debates.
“I appreciate them. I am amazed to see that with pencils, papers, pens and everything we manage to do extraordinary stuff. I think as reporters that there is no point in fetching cameras to take pictures. We can collaborate with these cartoonists who can do animations instead of going to pay for expensive photos, or to look for a photographer or paparazzi here and there,” Malian journalist, Moumouni Bocoum said.
In Mali, cartoonists enjoy freedom of speech but suffer from a lack of visibility.
“The problem is that we cannot earn a living from cartoons. Otherwise, I was never worried because of my works. I do what I want. You can see cartoons of our president. It does not matter even if is an uncle. I have never been worried, I hope I would not be worried. I’m not talking about that side, but rather about earning a living. That’s my job too,’‘ a cartoonist, Mahamadou Diarra said.
The 9th art as it is fondly called has been adopted by the press in Mali. It is a very effective means of communication in a country where 24% of the population … can not read or write the official language-French.