We propose you to discover resources (interviews, publications, etc.) around the theme of the exhibition « Spirou in the torment of the Shoah ».
Spirou in the torment of the Shoah
Author: Edition Dupuis
Selling price: 29 euros
On sale at the bookstore of the Shoah Memorial
4 QUESTIONS FOR CURATORS:
DIDIER PASAMONIK AND CAROLINE FRANÇOIS
Historical subjects are very successful in comics. How do you explain it?
Didier PASAMONIK: History in comics has always been a success. Remember the «Uncle Paul» in Spirou in the 1960s or «L’Histoire de France en bande dessinée» at Larousse in the 1980s. On the other hand, what is new in recent years is that comic books are supported and sometimes even written by historians, such as the excellent «Histoire dessinée de la France» directed by Sylvain Venayre in La Découverte. The historical work of comic book authors is now recognized, think of Jacques Tardi or François Bourgeon, historically impeccable authors. What makes the Spirou: L’Espoir Malgré tout award from Émile Bravo is that it is not a history lesson, it is a feeling of the atrocity of the Shoah and a call to the humanist sentiments that we all have in us. That’s very strong.Historical subjects are very successful in comics. How do you explain that?
The series «Spirou. L’Espoir malgré tout» by Émile Bravo offers a complex historical narrative between fictional and real characters. What, in your opinion, were the main challenges faced by Émile Bravo in this story?
Didier PASAMONIK: That of confronting Spirou, an unlikely adventurer who we see running the world for 80 years in groom costume, a fun character whose parks of attraction, with a subject as real and as heavy as that of the Shoah. Émile Bravo arrives there in a very subtle way through the characters of painters that are Felka and Felix Nussbaum who are for many of us in this exhibition, a discovery, both artistic and emotional. It is also a soothing comic about the memory of the Shoah. Auschwitz is not shown, as in Spiegelman’s «Maus». We describe the genocidal process without showing it, as in the film «Shoah» by Lanzmann, with a quality of narration and a very strong literary quality based on a thorough documentation and analysis. This is what our exhibition shows.
The Shoah Memorial presents here a multidisciplinary exhibition combining drawings, illustrations, paintings, archives. What were your positions taken on stage? What does this wealth bring in terms of mediation?
Caroline FRANÇOIS: The exhibition was designed in agreement with Émile Bravo. It is inspired by the stylistic codes of L’Espoir. It showcases the original plates set against the works of Felix Nussbaum, archival documents and period photographs. A family route marked by a «Spirou» allows the youngest to discover the exhibition.
The historical account of the tetralogy «Spirou. Éspoir nevertheless» is already very rich. What content do visitors not expect to see in the exhibition?
Caroline FRANÇOIS: The exhibition goes beyond the Spirou of Émile Bravo by allowing to discover the history of the Journal of Spirou during the war, the puppet theatre with an original period film, and finally the exhibition opens on the question of the creation of comics during the Occupation in France and Belgium, presenting original plates.
What are the values you want to transmit to the younger generations through Spirou?
Universal and humanistic values above all. Empathy, caring and caring for others, self-reflection and understanding to improve one’s relationship with the other… Humility in the face of an ephemeral existence… Gentleness and tenderness… Yes, we can pass all this on with Spirou. Finally, you can always try…”
Extract from the booklet
” As you explore this exhibition, you too will discover events that are often tragic and sometimes very hard. You will meet characters and you will find answers to the many questions you have already asked yourself about this dark period of history. You will surely also question yourself about today’s world and about your own life, your own experiences.
With all my friends who will accompany you throughout this trip in the past, we will propose you to carry out some activities to better understand what we have experienced. You can also continue your reflection at home and discuss it with your loved ones and those around you.”
Discover soon the booklet for children
Listen to the podcast series about the exhibition «Spirou in the torment of the Shoah»
In partnership with France Inter
« Jean Doisy, la guerre de Spirou »
See the bibliography of the exhibition.
Think about consulting the Shoah Memorial’s online bookstore or requesting your books from the museum bookstore during your visit. Our staff would be happy to help you with information and order the books you are looking for if necessary.