Building on the scholarly discussions of the Comics and Memory conference, the evening roundtables aim to spark a broader discussion with various actors from the comics world: artists, of course, but also different kinds of archivist, professors, cultural mediators, and others. The roundtables aim to speak to a wider audience by giving the floor to cartoonists, authors, and actors with a practical experience in the comics world.
Wenesday 19 April
Drawing Memories: Artists’ Talks
Vooruit (Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23) – 20:00
Moderated by Gert Meesters (comics critic and scholar, Université Lille 3)
Cartoonists always draw, at least to some extent, from memory: memories of comics readings, personal memories, collective and cultural memories of the past. The very process of drawing quite literally redraws these memories onto the page, reshaping them into various forms. To catch a glimpse of that process, renowned comics authors Dominique Goblet, Jeroen Janssen, Pascal Matthey and Tanitoc will discuss their creative practice, taking us behind the scenes to show how memory manifests itself in their approach to comics and in their works. All of them propose a kind of tangential autobiography, indirect and focused outward, highlighting how their personal memories are entwined with larger threads of cultural and collective memories.
Thursday 20 April
The Memory of Comics In and Out of the Institutions
Vooruit (Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 23) – 19:30
Moderated by Pedro Moura (comics critic and scholar, ULisboa/KU Leuven)
Long considered as trash, as artifacts belonging to the fringes of culture, comics were not originally meant to be preserved: yet, as is often the case with ephemeral objects of popular culture, comics have the potential to be rediscovered and to acquire a new value. With the slow but steady legitimization of the ‘ninth art,’ initiatives to collect, preserve, and archive the memory of comics have proliferated: with the emergence of museums and libraries dedicated to the conservation of comics on one hand, or through reprints, digital archives, historiographic projects, and other types of memory-making activities on the other. This roundtable brings together archivists involved in different kinds of comics preservation activities to discuss the institutionalization of comics memory as well as the alternative grassroots networks that have always been vital for the transmission of comics heritage.