Alice Chemama


June - July 2023

alice chemama portrait

© Tony Trichanh

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“How can deconstructing popular narratives and creating new histories support the redefinition of our place in the natural world, which is now essential in the face of environmental challenges?”

I am an artist and an author. My career has consistently been guided by experiences and experiments in the natural world. This approach first stemmed from a frenzied desire to draw and a love of wide-open spaces.  


I was a part of the horse-riding community for over ten years, and it was through contact with these creatures that I began to reflect on the evident domination of humans over animals. As a teenager, an encounter with the national parks and Native cultures of the United States led me to question our supremacy over the entire living world. 


These concerns inspired my various projects at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, from which I graduated in 2017 with the short film Holy Chic. The film’s eponymous nightclub depicts bodies in thrall on the dance floor, juxtaposed with raging forest fires. Taking the same direction as my thesis, this animated short marked the beginning of my research into the power of stories and their ability to mobilize consciences.  


The call of the wild found its way into my artistic approach when, following a horrible experience at a refuge for orphaned baby kangaroos, I produced my first illustrated exposé and adopted immersion as my basis for creation. 


In 2020, while in residency at Ateliers Médicis in Haute-Savoie, I held a talk with a class of fifth-graders and explored with them the role of collective memory in our perception of territory. This project inspired a graphic novel, Dans l’ombre du Mont-Blanc (In the Shadow of Mont-Blanc) that uses hybrid storytelling with a view to observing a culture in all its complexity, considering different perspectives, and understanding origins to help rethink narratives and build the society of tomorrow.  



A graduate from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, Alice Chemama is a Franco-American artist and author. Working primarily with still and moving images, she creates pieces influenced by social and ecological concerns. Her short film Holy Chic was awarded a number of prizes at film festivals, and the Dargaud publishing house signed her after seeing her illustrated exposé, the Libé Apaj-winning Les Kangourous de l’Apocalypse (The Kangaroos of the Apocalypse). She illustrated the Eisner Award-nominated and Bassilac Prize-winning Les Zola, and released Dans l’ombre du Mont-Blanc, which came about during a residency at Ateliers Médicis. She is also a regular contributor for La Revue Dessinée, the TOPO magazine, Elles - Women Composers, and Forum des Images, among others. 


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As a general publisher of comic book series and graphic novels for all audiences, Dargaud is as committed to promoting the heritage of comics, from Lucky Luke to Blake and Mortimer, as it is to defending contemporary creation, from The Rabbi's Cat to Blacksad, and from World Without End to The Old Geezers, or Lightness. Today, its catalog boasts 4,000 titles, with more than 5 million copies sold each year throughout the world.


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TOPO is a news magazine for people under 20 years old (and others too). Chronicles, great reports and scientific popularization: facing the propagation of conspiracy theories and fake news, it is urgent to provide keys to decipher the news. TOPO is a magazine which bets on associating the pleasure of comics with the seriousness of journalism to allow young readers to develop their critical and citizen sense.


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