Nzé Esono Ebalé

Illustrator, multidisciplinary artist and activist

Also known as Ramón Esono or Jamón y Queso, he is one of the most renowned illustrators in Equatorial Guinea. The publication in 2015 of the graphic novel La pesadilla de Obi (self-published), made together with two writers who decided to remain anonymous, caused his imprisonment in Playa Negro. Six months later, he was released thanks to a strong international campaign promoted by artists and human rights and freedom of expression organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and International PEN.

This novel, characterized by the use of humour, was a harsh criticism of the human rights violations committed under the rule of the Equatoguinean leader Teodoro Obiang, who has been in power since the 1979 coup d'état. Esono's creations, which emerged from self-taught training, have received multiple awards such as the 2017 Courage Award from the Cartoonists Rights Network and the 2017 Free Voice Award from Catalan PEN, and have been shown at the ARCO Fair in Madrid, the Feshcary center in Cameroon and the International Comic Festival in Algiers, among others.

He is also the author, together with journalist Pere Ortín, of the graphic novel Diez mil elefantes (Reservoir Books), a journey through Spain's colonial past in Equatorial Guinea.

Nzé Esono Ebalé's photo