“We’re tolerated”

Comics festival in France faces call for boycott over sexism

A man prepares a stall at International comic books festival in Angouleme, France. (PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)

A highly prestigious prize awarded at the Angouleme International Comics Festival each year — to recognize the lifetime achievements of a cartoonist — is facing calls for boycott after failing to include a single female nominee on their 30 person shortlist. In the 42-year history of the Grand Prix, only one woman, Florence Cestac, has ever won. A group called BD Egalite, or Women in Comics Collective Against Sexism, said that the prize can boost artist’s careers and sales and that women’s lack of inclusion “[discourages us] from having ambition, from continuing our efforts… We’re tolerated, but never allowed top billing.”

The Festival’s Franck Bondoux defended the list, saying that the world of comics has been traditionally dominated by men and that the festival was taking steps to promote the work of female artists. At least three nominees have publicly backed the protests and asked for their names to be removed, one of which, Riad Sattouf, provided via Facebook a number of names of female artists he thought should be considered to take his place.

Read the full story at the BBC.

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