The complete edition of the comic book “The Diamonds of Kamituga” was presented at the Paris Book Fair at the stand “Books & Authors of the Congo Basin”. On occasion, a round table was held on Monday, March 2 and various speakers exchanged views on the role of artistic creation in the process of development.
Hamidou Sall, Executive Director of the Foundation George Arthur Forrest (Belgium), Countess Emmanuelle Vidal Simoes Fonseca, president of the Foundation “House of the Arts Douta Seck” (Senegal) and Gervanne Leridon, co-chair of African Artists for Development returned on the various actions of their foundations and discussed different topics such as the role of art and culture in Africa today.
The exchanges were particularly exciting when the question ” Does Africa need culture and art while missing some important economic development? was asked. Speakers unanimously stressed the importance of culture (in the broad sense) in the development process, a culture that allows people to plan for the future through dialogue and sharing.
This round table was an opportunity for Gervanne Leridon to reconsider the importance of the commitment uniting artistic creation and local development projects, theme at the heart of AAD. The comic books “The Diamonds of Kamituga” was notably presented as an example of initiative where art is at the service of development.
“The Diamonds of Kamituga” is an original and effective prevention tool to HIV / AIDS. Co-written by Congolese cartoonist Seraphin Kajibwami and writter Appollo, the two volumes of the comic book, which combine prevention messages to HIV / AIDS and captivating thriller, were distributed for free in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The distribution of the first volume in 2011 in the South Kivu region has had a very positive impact: more than 500,000 readers were directly informed about the issues related to HIV / AIDS and screening tests done by SOS SIDA, aad’s local partner, have increased by 40%. The second volume was eagerly awaited and 150,000 copies were printed, representing the largest circulation of a comic book on the African continent. Copies are currently being distributed in the South Kivu region and in major cities of the DRC.