21.04.15 > 21.06.15

The Forgotten Slaves of Tromelin

Sylvain Savoia, Dupuis Publisher

This is a highly original comic book, which the Belgian Comics Art Museum now has great pleasure in introducing in the Gallery. Comic strip artist, Sylvain Savoia, tells the story of his participation in a scientific expedition, the objective of which was to discover how, in the 18th century, slaves abandoned on a small inhospitable island in the Indian Ocean after their ship ran aground, managed to survive in particularly treacherous conditions. The exhibition therefore includes two stories, which are displayed in parallel. There is a selection of drawings suspended from the picture rail, which depict the life of the slaves on the desert island, whilst the totems reveal the report of the scientific expedition, which is a reconstruction of this extraordinary and harrowing story.

JC De la Royère, Belgian Comics Art Museum


Sylvain Savoia, was born in Reims on 30 September 1969, and develops a natural bond with Jean-David Morvan. They both study comic strip art at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels, and later collaborate on comic strip books, such as Reflets perdus, Nomad and Al'Togo.

His partner, Sowa Marzena, encourages him to illustrate her memories from a childhood spent in Poland, and together they create the charming Marzi series, which is extremely funny and exotic. It has been awarded several prizes and translated in more than ten languages.

In 2010, the archaeologist, Max Guérout, commissions him to paint and revive the story of the slaves left behind on Sand Island, a small desert island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  At the end of the 18th century, a ship ran aground there. An escape raft was built but only the white crew of the ship were allowed to board it, leaving behind them some sixty Madagascan slaves. The last surviving eight slaves, that is, seven women and a baby, were only rescued fifteen years later by the Knight of Tromelin.

This is the story that has given birth to this book, which intertwines the story of a young female slave with the logbook of an archaeological expedition. After the international success of Marzi, Sylvain Savoia again teaches his readers a wonderful lesson in humanity.

Les Éditions Dupuis



Tags : Museum / Strip / Exhibition / Publication


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