Le Pauvre de Bomba; Main Basse Sur le Cameroon
Medium: Print Journalism Literature
Artist: Mongo Beti (1932 - 2001)
Confronting Bodies: French and Cameroonian governments, Catholic Church officials
Dates of Action: 1956, 1972
Location: Cameroon, France
Description of Artwork: Beti is considered a radical by church and government officials in France and Cameroon. His work harshly criticizes the political relationship between France and Cameroon.
The Incident: In 1956 Cameroonian colonial authorities and Catholic Church officials banned Beti's Le Pauvre de Bomba (The Poor Bomba) A single copy was allowed to remain at the University of Yaounde. Beti moved to France and wrote Main Basse Sur le Cameroon (Grabbing Cameroon), which was also banned and confiscated by the French and Cameroonian governments. When he returned to Cameroon in 1993 he was refused permission to run for legislative elections.
Results of Incident: "Main Basse Sur le Cameroon" sold 20,000 copies in other countries and inspired Amnesty International to produce a film entitled "Anti-censorship." Beti was invited to speak at numerous foreign universities.
Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones