*Travelling out of the UK since January 2020 due to Covid 19/lockdowns and restrictions of travel, felt surreal. The organisers of the 6th COCOBULLES festival of cartoons and Cartooning for Peace had planned for 6th year event in Ivory Coast in 2020 but that had to wait for all reasons known around the globe. So, the plan was on again in 2021 and this took place and concluded recently. I felt at ease to travel headlonging into the the Covid requirements before travelling, whilst over in Ivory Coast and on my return. Better safe than sorry I’d say. Besides you could only travel adhering to all guidelines required locally and internationally.
I flew out of London Heathrow airport via Charles De Gaulle airport, Paris on Air France, an airline that has not lost its customer care touch, to Ivory Coast. I met up in Paris with KAK a French cartoonist of the French newspaper L’Opinon, and president of the Cartooning for Peace flew on same flight to Abidjan, capital city of Ivory Coast in West Africa. We landed at the Felix- Houphouet- Boigny International airport, Abidjan. The airport is named after the first president of Ivory Coast. We were met by our host Lassane Zohore transporting us to our hotel, after dinner.
Organised every two years, the COCOBULLES International festival of Press cartoons gathers cartoonists from around the world to offer 3 days of exhibitions, workshop sessions, conferences, meetings and signing sessions. This year’s was marked in the centre of Treichville, a town known as one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in Abidjan. There were 12 artists from Africa and Europe and invitees to the festival included myself, TAYO fatunla (Nigeria), Marguerite Abouet (Ivory Coast), KAK (France), Christian Arnaud Bassole (Burkina Faso), Odia (Senegal), Willy Zekid (Congo Brazaville), Sylvain Platevoet (France), Lars (Denmark) and Oscar (France).
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The COCOBULLES festival has been around for 20 years and has attracted the best African and European professional and gives an opportunity for sharing between the cartoonists and members of the public. This year’s was held in partnership with Cartooning for Peace and the European Union and was held from 11 to 14 November at the Rond Point de la Rue 12, in Treichville.
An initiative of the Association Tâche d’Encre, bringing together press and comic strip cartoonists from Côte d’Ivoire, COCOBULLES 2021 had this year’s themed as “Drawing as a tool for conflict prevention”, a contribution to the reconciliation process in Côte d’Ivoire. Cartoonist, Lassane Zohoré, president of the organizing committee of the event reiterated that this year’s COCOBULLES benefited from the support of the municipality of Treichville with Mayor Albert François Amichia at its head.
The COCOBULLES festival is a forum for meetings and exchanges between professionals and amateurs of press cartoons and comics, but also an opportunity for sharing between authors and the public. It is held in partnership with, among others, Cartooning for Peace and the European Union.
Exhibitions, frescoes, sale of books, drawing cartoons and caricatures, conferences, debates, training workshops and children’s entertainment area all made for a successful and sunny all-throughout festival.
Well, done to Lassane Zohoré and the whole team who worked round the clock to make 6th COCOBULLES a success.
TAYO Fatunla is an award-winning Nigerian Comic Artist, Editorial Cartoonist, Writer and Illustrator is an artist of African diaspora. He is a graduate of the prestigious Kubert School, in New Jersey, US. and recipient of the 2018 ECBACC Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award for his illustrated OUR ROOTS creation and series – Famous people in Black History – He participated at UNESCO’s Cartooning In Africa forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Cartooning Global Forum in Paris, France and took part in the Afropolitan Comics virtual comics exhibition arranged by the French Institute in South Africa coinciding with its annual National Arts Festival. His image of Fela Kuti was used as a backdrop in the Burna Boy’s YouTube channel the mega-Afrobeat hit song “Ye”. –– www.tayofatunla.com/[email protected]/[email protected]