Tintin et L’affaire du tribunal de 1iere Instance.

So, “Tintin au Congo” is declared to be non racist or at least, did not constitute an act inspired by racism or xenophobia. This declaration comes after a campaign to have the comic strip banned or at least given an adult label placed upon it. I am pleased about this ruling (in French) by the Brussels court of 1st Instance as, in principal, I am against all censorship. I am particularly against judging past works by current standards. As Herge said:” I was fed the prejudices of those around me. It was 1930, I knew nothing about about this country other than what people told me at the time. I portrayed these Africans in a purely paternalistic way which was prevalent at the time in Belgium. If I were to start again, of course I would do it differently.”

In England, we are huge fans of Agatha Christie on TV. If we were to analyse her views closely we would see the same prevailing views on class and race… We accept yet reject these at the same time.

I was brought up with Tintin, Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming. When on holiday in Belgium, I would buy Tintin comic books and still have a collection. Somehow, ” Tintin au Congo” isn’t one of them. My parents told me it was “boring” and not worth reading. Apparently, we said the same to our children when they became interested in the young journalist’s exploits….OK, I have never read it, so how am I to judge?Well I will read it now and read it in the same context that I might read Fleming or Christie; as writers of their time.

Instead of teaching censorship, we need to teach history, how attitudes change and how and why.


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