Reading of “A Massacre in the Congo”

Comics reportages are becoming increasingly popular – not just artists, but also journalists have been discovering the medium in recent years. The non-profit research centre CORRECT!V has been publishing comics reportages in book form since 2015. Their last publication was Made in Germany: A Massacre in the Congo by El Marto and Frederik Richter.

On October 10, 2018, the two were guests at Modern Graphics on Kastanienallee to present their months-long work that went into the publication. The evening was moderated by Lilian Pithan, a freelance journalist and member of the German Comics Association.

Frederik Richter, acting editor-in-chief of CORRECT!V since 2015, shared how he came across the story in a non-fiction book: In 2009 the Rwandan FDLR militia committed war crimes in the eastern Congo. One of its leaders, Ignace Murwanashyaka, lived in Germany at the time and orchestrated the crimes via the internet. He later faced trial at the regional court in Stuttgart. An absolute novelty: until then no foreign national in Germany had been tried for war crimes committed in another country.

The comics reportage furthermore confronts Germany’s handling of its own colonial past. El Marto, who comes from Burkina Faso and is known there as a street artist, allowed his own experiences in Berlin to come to life in the book, such as the debate over renaming streets in the African district. During the reading event, he described how he was able to find the right imagery for the reportage. The audience, which had made a great showing, posed a number of questions after the reading that sparked a lively discussion about journalistic methods and artistic forms of expression.

Those who wish to buy the book by El Marto and Frederik Richter can do so at Modern Graphics or in the online shop on CORRECT!V’s website.