Afri-Comics were published in 1975-1977 as part of a “five-year secret propaganda war” led by Eschel Rhoodie, Secretary of the Department of Information in the South African government from 1972 until 1977, to defend apartheid. The company was established in 1975 by Rhoodie using a South African business partner, Jan van Zyl Alberts, as a front to disguise government participation.
Three UCLA Library staff members - Dawn Aveline (Preservation Officer), Yasmin Dessem (Audiovisual Preservation Specialist), T-Kay Sangwand (Librarian for Digital Collection Development) - traveled to Havana, Cuba to meet with partner organization Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí, bring a portable digitization setup, and lead a digitization and metadata training with the aim of digitzing historical newspapers.
Thanks to the IDEP project supporting several exciting and important collaborations in Cuba, in December 2015 the UCLA Library was invited to participate in the second annual international Festival del Cartel in Havana. One of our IDEP partners, Claudio Sotolongo, who is an instructor and graphic designer at the University of Havana, first suggested the collaboration after my first visit to Havana, proposing that the Library exhibit a selection of posters as part of the Festival del Cartel to take place at the end of April 2016.