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October 23, 2017   UGA Guide | French-African artists visit for conversation, screening…
Magnify Felicite; Gomis, Alain
A still from Gomis' film Felicite.

French-African artists visit for conversation, screening at Cine Oct. 26

Dave Marr

Public Relations Specialist

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Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
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By Dave Marr | October 23, 2017

Filmmaker Alain Gomis and graphic novelist Marguerite Abouet will visit Cine for an evening of events Oct. 26, beginning with a reception and book signing at 5 p.m. in the CineLab. Abouet and Gomis will join UGA faculty members for a conversation on representations of West African life through film and visual arts at 5:30 p.m.,
and Gomis will introduce a screening of his film Felicite at 7:15 p.m. All events are open free to the public.

Gomis and Abouet will visit Athens and Atlanta as guests of the Consulate General of France in Atlanta. Their Cine event is presented by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the department of Romance languages as part of the year-long celebration of the Willson Center's 30th anniversary. The conversation with Gomis and Abouet will include Rachel Gabara, associate professor of French in the department of Romance languages, and Esra Santesso, associate professor in the department of English.

Abouet was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 1971, and at the age of 12 moved to France, where she has lived since. The Aya comics, which she creates with artist Clement Oubrerie, are set in the 1970s Abdijan of her youth, where Abouet's eponymous protagonist and large cast of characters navigate life and love in the working-class enclave of Yopougon-Koute ("Yop City") as well as the more glamorous environs of the cosmopolitan West African capital. The Aya books are popular with readers around the world and have been translated into 17 languages. Abouet also has written for film and television, and she and Oubrerie co-directed the 2012 animated feature film Aya of Yop City.

Gomis is a Parisian writer and director whose films, including L'afrance (2001), Aujourd'hui (2012), and Felicite (2017), have focused on Africans and African immigrants in France. Felicite stars Vero Tshanda Beya Mputu as a nightclub singer in Kinshasa, Congo who scours the sprawling city in a desperate search for money to pay for her son's surgery after he is injured in a motorcycle accident, won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.

Cine is located at 234 W. Hancock Ave.

The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts was founded as the Humanities Center in 1987 and subsequently renamed the Center for Humanities and Arts in 1997. In 2005, it was rechristened the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts after the gift of an endowment by the Willsons of Albany, Georgia, longtime benefactors of the humanities and arts at the university.

The center's mission is to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. It is committed to academic excellence and public impact.

To learn more about upcoming Willson Center events and programs, visit

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