Illustrating Africa | Encounters with Graphic Novelist Marguerite Abouet

French-Ivorian graphic novelist Marguerite Abouet reflects on the success of her critically acclaimed graphic novel series, Aya of Yop City, and the role of the visual arts in African self-representation.


Abouet’s graphic novel series, Aya of Yop City (2005), follows the adventures of 19-year-old Aya and her friends as they come of age in the  suburbs of Abidjan during the late 1970’s. Widely lauded in France and abroad, the inaugural volume Aya won the Angoulême International Comics Festival First Comic Book prize in 2006, and the collection has been translated into 17 languages.

As part of France-Atlanta, Abouet, who is also a screenwriter and director, will participate in a discussion with French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis on the importance of film and the visual arts for creating an accurate and dynamic depiction of life in contemporary West Africa. The two filmmakers will reflect on the inspiration and motivation for their recent projects prior to a screening of Gomis’ latest film, Félicité (2017).



Presented as part of the High Museum of Art’s “MAKING AFRICA” exhibition.

When: October 27, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Where: High Museum of Art, Hill Auditorium (1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309)



Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Marguerite Abouet moved to Paris, where she currently resides, at the age of 12. She is the author of the graphic novel series Aya of Yop City. As a screenwriter, Abouet has provided the scripts for television and film, including the film adaptation of her graphic novels and the Dakar-based series C’est la vie for TV5 Afrique. Additionally, she is the founder “Livres pour tous” (“Books for all”), an organization dedicated to making books more accessible to children across Africa through the creation of neighborhood libraries.