Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Turkish troops to go further into Syria, says foreign minister

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

france 24 Culture

France’s top comics festival scraps nominee list amid sexism row

© Pierre Duffour, AFP | Riad Sattouf, who won the "Fauve d'Or" award last year for his graphic novel "The Arab of Future", had asked for his name to be pulled from this year's list of nominees..

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-01-07

Just 24 hours after scrambling to add women to their all-male list of nominees for a prestigious award, the organizers of France’s leading comic book festival said Thursday they would scrap the list altogether.

The move marks the latest twist in a heated row that saw the Angoulême festival, one of the world’s leading comic book events, face accusations of sexism after it had failed to include a single woman in its original list of 30 nominees for a lifetime award.

In a statement on Thursday, organizers said they had decided to “invite all comic book authors to vote freely for the author of their choice”, describing the decision as “a new step in the democratization of the Grand Prix selection process”.

A day earlier, the same organizers had said they would add “the names of additional female authors” to the list of nominees.

The lack of women in the original list prompted female authors to call for a boycott and generated a social media effort to highlight the work of women comics creators.

Several nominees, including Frenchmen Riad Sattouf and Joann Sfar as well as Americans Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns, had asked in an act of solidarity that their names be pulled from the list of nominees.

‘Cannot contort the reality’

In the organisers’ defence, festival director Franck Bondoux said the January gathering "cannot contort the reality" of the comics industry, which has been nearly exclusively male-dominated.

"The Angouleme festival loves women... but it cannot rewrite the history of comics," he said in a statement.

France's Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin waded into the controversy on Wednesday, saying she found it "rather unusual" that no women were on the list of nominees.

A collective of about 200 female comics authors took to the Internet to express their outrage over the lack of women nominees.

"We rise up against this obvious discrimination, this total negation of our representation in a medium that includes more and more women," the group, Comics Creators Against Sexism, wrote on its blog.

Only one woman, Florence Cestac, has been honoured with the Grand Prix at the festival, which she won 16 years ago.

Women make up just over 12 percent of professionals in the world of Francophone comics, according to comic journalists and critics association ACBD.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2016-01-07

  • FRANCE - CULTURE

    Comic books of childhood under Arab dictators grip France

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French comics festival honours Charlie Hebdo cartoonists

    Read more

  • LITERATURE

    Asterix to team up with Assange-like character in new comic

    Read more

COMMENT(S)