ALGIERS – Thursday, 05 October 2023 (APS) – The Minister of Culture and Arts Soraya Mouloudji inaugurated Wednesday, in Algiers, the 15th Algiers International Comics Festival (Fibda), which runs till October 8th at Riad El Feth esplanade with the participation of creators from ten countries.

While visiting the exhibitors’ stands, the minister hailed the “active” participation of several leading countries in the ninth art, such as Japan, Canada, the United States, and Italy, pointing out that Fibda remains “one of the most significant comic book gatherings in Africa.”

The minister said that Fibda is an “opportunity for the amateurs and professionals of the ninth art,” who will attend workshops, meetings, and activities dedicated to this art.

She also stressed the state’s support for culture and creativity, noting that comics “hold an educational value” and enable raising creative ideas and reflections, the minister said in her opening speech.

The opening ceremony was also marked by a tribute to late Algerian caricaturist and comic artist, Nadjib Berber, by the screening of a documentary that gathered testimonials from fellow comic artists of his era such as Mahfoud Aider, Slim, and Ahmed Haroun.

Themed “The Edition of Youth”, the 15th Fibda hosts over 80 authors and publishers from various countries, with a special focus on the iconic and historical character of the Algerian folklore “M’quidech”.

In addition to Algeria, which is represented by various authors including Mahfoud Aider, Benyoucef Abbas Kebir and Ahmed Haroun, this event will also host the creator and one of the cofounders of the character “M’quidech” alongside other renowned cartoonists of the eponym magazine.

This edition will witness the participation of comic artists and illustrators from United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, France, and Congo.

The visitors will get the opportunity to discover the works of both Algerian and foreign artists on comics as well as Japanese manga, through exhibitions and workshops led by professionals.

The writer Yasmina Khadra will host a meeting on the adaptation of novels into comics, including the presentation of graphic novels adapted from his literary works.

Japanese animation film screenwriter and director Sunao Katabuchi will lead a conference about animation cinema, while Canadian manga screenwriter and adapter Frédéric Antoine will present an overview on comic books of his homeland.

The American Alitha Martinez, artist of the superhero “Black Panther,” will host a meeting with her compatriots Shawn Martinbrough and Sara Gomez Wooley, illustrator and graphic novelist, dedicated to the American “comics”.