Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

Read more

Europe

Tintin’s ‘racist’ Congo adventure under scrutiny in Belgian court

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-04-28

There is no doubt that “Tintin in the Congo” portrays black Africans in a light that would be unacceptable to modern publishers. But does it remain an important historical representation of the prejudices of the 1920s?

A Congolese man is trying to get Hergé’s controversial “Tintin in the Congo” banned by a Belgian court because of its racist depictions of black Africans.

Bienvenu Mbutu, who lives in Belgium, Congo’s former colonial ruler, said Tintin employed a little (black) helper who was seen as “stupid and without qualities”.

“It makes people think that blacks have not evolved,” he said.

In one scene, a black woman prostrates herself before Tintin, saying: “White man very great. White mister is big juju man.”

The cartoon strip, written in the late 1920s, is Hergé’s second Tintin adventure. It was followed by stories in which the author tried to inject greater realism and historical accuracy.

Hergé himself recognised that “Tintin in the Congo” was a “youthful sin” that reflected the prejudices of the time.

The court in Brussels will consider whether the book should be banned, or possibly sold with a note across the cover warning that some readers might find the content offensive.

In 2007 a British court ruled that “Tintin in the Congo” should be sold with such a warning.

Mbutu has also tried, unsuccessfully, to have the cartoon banned in France.
 

Date created : 2010-04-28

COMMENT(S)