Postcards from Congo: A Graphic History

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by Edmund Trueman, foreword by Didier Gondola

Arsenal Pulp Press

10/25/2022, paperback

SKU: 9781551528953


The Democratic Republic of Congo, the second-largest country in Africa by area, has had a fractured and bloody history, variously undone by decades of colonialism, civil war, corruption, and totalitarian rule. The country has played a crucial role in the economic growth of the Global North, but in doing so, has suffered immensely. So many seminal advances in technology were possible only through the extraction of materials from Congo, from rubber to copper to uranium to coltan. In each case, the Congolese people paid a great price exacerbated by the weight of colonial exploitation and dictatorial rule.

In this comprehensive graphic history, author and illustrator Edmund Trueman explores the fractious story of Congo. Through deft illustrations and storytelling, Congo's history ― not widely known to Western readers ― comes vividly alive. We see how Congolese musicians have spread their language across Africa by creating some of the most popular music on the continent, and how Congolese women have spent decades sidestepping sexist legislation to become leaders in local business. From resistance against colonialism to the fight for independence and the self-determination to make a life in an almost stateless place, Postcards from Congo depicts how the Congolese people have resisted and survived in order to take control of their lives and the country they call home.

Includes a foreword by historian Didier Gondola, Professor of African History at Johns Hopkins University.

About the Contributors:

Edmund Trueman has been creating and self-publishing underground comics for the last decade. He has written from his own experience about topics ranging from the refugee crisis to the squatting movement. Postcards from Congo is his first long-form graphic non-fiction work, and his first work dealing with African history.

Didier Gondola is Professor of African History at Johns Hopkins University. He has a PhD in African History from the Université Paris 7 in 1993. His publications include numerous articles and chapters on popular cultures (music, fashion, gambling, and memory), gender and postcolonial issues in Central Africa and the African diaspora in France. His most recent book is Tropical Cowboys: Youth Gangs, Violence, and Masculinities in Colonial Kinshasa.