‘Tintin in the Congo’ dodges ban in Sweden

'Tintin in the Congo' dodges ban in Sweden
Photo: Bonnier Carlsen
Judicial authorities in Sweden have rejected an attempt by a Swede of Congolese origin to slap a ban on 'Tintin in the Congo' on racist grounds, the plaintiff said on Thursday.

Jean-Dadou Monya, 42, had lodged a legal action against Bonnier Carlsen, publisher of the Swedish translation of the Herge comic book, demanding that it be pulled from bookshops and libraries.

Monya told AFP that prosecutors had written to him to say they had decided not to pursue the case for procedural reasons — notably because the timeframe for lodging such an action had been exceeded.

“I had expected that,” he said. “For me, the important thing was to draw attention to the racist character of this comic book which no long has a place in 21st century society.”

“This book is aimed at children and it is not good that they read racist things, such as when Tintin screams at Africans and treats them as lazy.”

Published in the early 1930s, when Belgium ruled what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo, “Tintin in the Congo” was the second in Herge’s celebrated Tintin series — and arguably the most controversial.

Earlier this year, a Congolese student in Belgium initiated legal action to have it banned from sale there, while Borders bookstores in Britain is selling it as an adult graphic novel after yanking it from its children’s sections.