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Artist talk by Ramon Esono Ebalé

Termin Label
Bildende Kunst

Organized by the Studio for Post-Conceptual Art Practices /IBK/ prof. Marina Grzinic in collaboration with UNI WIEN/ prof. Max Doppelbauer.

Meeting ID: 955 8331 5035

Ramon Esono Ebalé was born in Micomeseng in northern Equatorial Guinea. He is largely self-taught, but also received drawing lessons at the Centro Cultural de España in Malabo. He received awards such as the Regarde 9 at the International Comics Festival in Angoulême and from the Africa and Mediterranean magazine in Bologna. On the Internet, Ebalé worked for the webzine Las Locuras de Jamón y Queso. He worked on the film Un día vi 10.000 elefantes and was exhibited in Paraguay and El Salvador.

In addition to his career as a commercial artist, Ebalé is concerned with the deep inequality in Equatorial Guinea and with Teodoro Obiang, the dictator since 1979. Ebalé moved to Paraguay in 2011.  In 2014, using dialog written by an anonymous collaborator in Malabo, Ebalé drew the graphic novel La pesadilla de Obi (Obi's Nightmare). It was funded by the non-governmental organization EGJustice. The book is described as "a satirical day in the life imagining what it would be like for Obiang himself to wake up as an unemployed, mindless husband in one of Malabo's desolate slums, accustomed as he is to the unbridled control of his country's economy." With no means of legal distribution in Equatorial Guinea, the Spanish edition of the book sub rosa was distributed by private individuals.

In September 2017, Ebalé was arrested in Malabo and detained in the notorious Black Beach prison. He was released in March 2018 after a police officer admitted to falsely accusing him on the instructions of his superiors. In November 2017, the Cartoonists Rights Network, International presented Ebalé with its annual Courage in Editorial Cartooning award to draw attention to his incarceration. In November 2021, he came to Vienna at the invitation of Max Doppelbauer to create a project commemorating the Day of the Imprisoned Writer on November, 15, and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November, 25. The project is titled Between Two Days . Ramón painted a GIANT portrait of Guinean writer and LTGBQ+ activist Melibea Obono and they carried the portrait through Vienna and together to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, in Lehargasse 8, where it would be exhibited for 10 days – from November, 15 to  November, 25.