23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023


Golo was born in Bayonne in France in 1948. He has worked an illustrator for various French and Egyptian periodicals since the early 1970s. When he first travelled to Cairo in 1973, he fell in love with the city. He regularly returned before relocating there in 1993. He works for the weekly paper »Cairo Times« as well as illustrating comics. His début in comics was »Ballades pour un voyou« (1979, t: Ballads of a crook), in which he and writer Frank enter the nightlife of 1970s Paris, powerfully bringing to life the mood of a vanished time. Golo erected a literary monument to his chosen home, Cairo, with »Mes mille et une nuits au Caire«, volumes 1 and 2 (2009/2010; t: My 1,001 nights in Cairo). The first volume is concerned with life in Cairo in the 1970s and 1980s, while the second book examines the changes to the city in the new Millennium. Golo brings Cairo to life with his personal and multi-faceted tales and expresses his deep concern about the dramatic effects of mass tourism on the city and its people. Golo’s greatest success is his comic »B. Traven, portrait d’un anonyme célèbre« (2007; t. »B. Traven – portrait of a famous nobody), in which he recounts various episodes from the adventurous life of the mysterious German writer B. Traven, whose books have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Very little is known about Traven, who remains the 20th century’s greatest literary mystery. Golo’s comic »Chroniques de la Nécropole« (2011, t: Chronicles of a City of the Dead), written together with his wife Dibou, is once again autobiographical. It is a powerful account of the destruction of the village Al-Qrnah, established on an ancient burial ground a few kilometres north-west of Luxor. The Egyptian government tried for years to force the villagers to move so that they could exploit and redevelop the burial grounds for mass tourism. The artist speaks for the 300 families from the village and points out how the forced relocation of the community has destroyed a valuable culture. »Chroniques de la Nécropole« is not just the story of Al-Qrnah, it is also about Golo and Dibou and their life in the village. The book is a skilful combination of the aesthetic and narrative of a comic with photography and a harsh critique of the political arbitrariness and economic greed.

Golo has produced nearly 20 comics, all of which have been released by renowned comic publishers. Golo has lived and worked in Al-Qrnah since 2001.

© internationales literaturfestival berlin


Ballades pour un voyou
[Text: Frank]
Éditions du Square
Paris, 1979

Mes mille et une nuits au Caire
Tome 1
Paris, 2009

Mes mille et une nuits au Caire
Tome 2
Paris, 2010

B. Traven
Porträt eines berühmten Unbekannten
Berlin, 2011

Chronik einer verschwundenen Stadt
[Text u. Ill: Golo, Text u. Fotos: Dibou]
Berlin, 2012