Discover the new Dibuka Francophone Multimedia Library

Johannesburg, August 24, 2018 – The Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg are proud to present the newly revamped francophone multimedia library, named after the Setswana word for “books”: dibuka.

Dibuka is today the biggest francophone multimedia library in South Africa with a collection of 17 000 documents, including books, DVDs and CDs. Fifteen years after its creation, the need was felt to reposition Dibuka according to library uses that have evolved over the years. The aim of renovating Dibuka was to come up with an open and welcoming place in which multiple activities can take place and where the idea of meeting and the notion of experience prevail.

The Johannesburg-based design firm Urban Works was commissioned to redesign the space accordingly. Urban Works is an inter-disciplinary studio that has been involved in various projects, from city planning for places such as Ivory Park, to smaller scale projects such as the design of the Flame of Democracy at Constitution Hill. Urban Work’s priority is to transform and reinvent existing spaces to fit the evolutions of uses and society. One of the radical changes with Urban Work’s proposition for Dibuka has been to bring more luminosity into the library in order to turn it into a comfortable environment with natural daylight, where one can read, study or just relax. The choice of clear wooden furniture and pastel colour adds to the cosiness of the place while bringing a playful feel to it. Regarding the overall arrangement plan, it allows to highlight Dibuka’s specialised book collection, creating specific spaces for French learning material, children’s literature and bande dessinée . Added to that the mezzanine has been transformed into a cinema loft that can also host talks and panel discussions.

→ Address: Dibuka, 17 Lower Park Drive – Parkview – Johannesburg


1 – 29 September 2018

Not your ordinary book festival!

Spring is coming! And with it, the Dibuka Library Festival, a new kind of book festival to celebrate Dibuka’s new revamping and its 15th birthday.

Dibuka Library Festival will run from the 1st to the 29th of September at the newly revamped multimedia francophone library Dibuka, located in the gardens of the Alliance Française of Johannesburg. On the 29th , will be organized the Dibuka Day a special festive day, to wrap up this unique DIY festival!

During the whole month, come and take part in the various workshops, screenings, talks and kids’ activities organised around storytelling, bookmaking, animation and bande dessinée. Every thematic offers a reflexion about the new form of books and literary creation. It is also a family festival since all the activities are kids-friendly and most of them are bilingual (French/English).

The Dibuka library festival is a collaborative project between the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg with the support of the French Institute in Paris.

© icinori


Let’s begin…



Saturday 1 September – 11h00 > 12h30

WORKSHOP / Illustration with Icinori

Create your own imaginary landscape using hand-made stamps with French illustration duo Icinori. It is a workshop about experimentation, imagination and fun.

Facebook event here!

R50 – RSVP is recommended due to limited space

Get you ticket here!

Tuesday 4 September – 18h30

TALK / The craft of independent publishing

Icinori and Alphabet Zoo will share their experiences in independent and self-publication; from creation to distribution, advantages and disadvantages, and the differences between French and local markets. Facilitated by Griffin Shea from Bridge Books.

Facebook event here!

Wednesday 5 September – 19h00

CINEMA / Aya of Yop City Screening of Aya of Yop City by Clément Oubrerie & Marguerite Abouet (2013)

French subtitled in English, 1h24

Welcome to Yopougon, a working-class neighbourhood of Abidjan in the late 70s! This is home to Aya and her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou. The are 19-years-old, a time in your life when everything seems possible. But while Aya would like to become a doctor one day, her friends are hunting for a husband. An animation adapted from the francophone comic Aya of Yop city by Marguerite Abouet (2005)

You can watch the trailer here:

Facebook event here!

Saturday 8 September – 11h00 > 13h00

WORKSHOP / Bookbinding with Young Bucks

With the digitalization of novels, the traditional form of the book seems to become obsolete. But bookmaking is still an art of its own! With Young Bucks discover how to create your own book during a bookbinding workshop. A craft activity for all ages.

Facebook event here!

R50 – RSVP is recommended due to limited space

Get you ticket here!


The Little Prince ©Dee-Ann Kaaijk

Tuesday 11 September – 18h30

TALK / Studies in France with Campus France

Learn about the scholarship and study opportunities in France with English as medium of instruction in all academic fields. Meet with Lesego Vorster, student in animated film making who went to Gobelins, l’Ecole de l’image and Steffen Fischer, student in architecture who went to Ecole Boulle.

Facebook event here!

Wednesday 12 September – 19h00

CINEMA / Corniche Kennedy

Screening of Corniche Kennedy by Dominique Cabrera (2017) French subtitled in English, 1h34

In Marseille (South of France), a group of idle teens attempt to defy the laws of gravity by diving along the Kennedy coastline, a dangerous diving spot. Suzanne, a young girl from the upper class, tries and succeeds to be one of them. But the boys she bonds with have troubled life… Between their insatiable taste for freedom and everything that is forbidden, a fragile future begins to take shape. A movie adapted from the book of the same title by Maylis de Kerangal.

You can watch the trailer here:

Facebook event here!

Friday 14 September / 15.00 > 17.00

DIBUKIDS / Art activities en français with Raoudha Charni

Come explore your creativity and manual skills while improving your French. For children between 7 and 12 years old (level A1-A2)

Facebook event here!

Saturday 15 September – 11h00 > 12h30

WORKSHOP / The Little Prince with Kwasha! Theatre Company

Inspired by The Little Prince, this workshop is a launch pad for a flight into the imagination, exploring how to create stories using everyday objects. The Little Prince production is currently touring South Africa after it premiered at the National Arts Festival in June.

Facebook event here!

R50 – RSVP is recommended due to limited space

Get you ticket here!


©Naomi Van Niekerk

Wednesday 19 September – 15h00 > 16h30 (A2 level) 16h45 > 18h15 (B1 level)

WRITING / How to Haiku en français with Raoudha Charni

Haiku is a very short poem that originates from a Japanese tradition – learn how to do it in French!

Facebook event here!

Wednesday 19 September – 19h00

CINEMA / OSS 117 – Lost in Rio

Screening of OSS 117 – Lost in Rio by Michel Hazanavicius (2009)

French subtitled in English, 1h41

The French series of OSS 117 adventure comedies showcase the globetrotting exploits of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (aka OSS 117), a Derek Flint-like super-spy in the 60’s. This outing finds OSS 117 shuttled off to Rio de Janeiro, where his assignment involves retrieving microfilm that lists French Nazi collaborators during World War II. Adapted from the book series “OSS 117” by Jean Bruce.

You can watch the trailer here:

Facebook event here!

Thursday 20 September – 18h30

CINEMA / Short Animation Movie Night

A night dedicated to the short animation movies selected by Naomi van Niekerk, an inter-disciplinary and multi-awarded artist working in film, theatre and print-making. She will offer an international selection of the best of animation today.

Facebook event here!

Friday 21 September – 16h00 > 17h00

DIBUKIDS / Story Time with Lindiwe Matshikiza

Everyone loves a good story, and especially when it’s alive! Lindiwe Matshikiza* tells stories taken from books at Dibuka, creating a poetic and interactive moment in English and French for children from 3 to 7 years old.

Facebook event here!

Saturday 22 September – 11h > 13h

WORKSHOP / Stop Motion with Naomi Van Niekerk

Join us for an exclusive hands-on introduction to the world of stop-motion animation. Engage with the different aspects of making an animated film from assembling characters to creating a short-animated sequence using your Smartphone. Young and less young are all welcome!

Facebook event here!

Get you ticket here!


©Alphabet Zoo

Tuesday 25 September – 18h30

TALK / BD in France & Comics in South Africa, with Breeze Yoko & Daniel Browde

Breeze Yoko is back from his residency in Paris where he learnt how to make a bande dessinée, aka the french way of making comics. Daniel Browde is the scenarist of the South African comic Rebirth. What are the differences and common inspirations of BD in France and Comics in South Africa? How to start a comic from scratch? Come and ask your questions!

Facebook event here!

Wednesday 26 September – 15.00 > 17.00

WRITING / Creative Writing en français with Marylise Gordon (Levels: A2-B1)

Give some flair to your French through fun challenges and activities.

Facebook event here!

Wednesday 26 September – 19h00

CINEMA/ Lulu in the nude Screening of Lulu in the nude by Sólveig Anspach (2013)

French subtitled in English, 1h41

Following a botched job interview, Lulu decides not to return home, leaving her husband and their three children in the lurch. During her few days of stolen freedom, she crosses paths with a variety of people who, like herself, are at the edge of the world. Based on the comic book Lulu in the nude (Lulu femme nue) by Etienne Davodeau (2013)

You can watch the trailer here:

Facebook event here!

Friday 28 September – 16h00 > 17h00

DIBUKIDS / Activities around A Mouse’s tale

Using a short animation movie by Benjamin Renner, this workshop is a fun way to educate young ones how to analyse visual language in a world full of images and sounds. For children between 7 and 12 years old. Workshop facilitated by Muriel Huet, course director at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg.

Facebook event here!

Saturday 29 September – 11h00 > 12h30

WORKSHOP / Make a Zine! with Alphabet Zoo

A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images. Alphabet Zoo invites you to create your own zine following a theme during an hour and a half. DIY and creativity are the two key words for this workshop!

Facebook event here!

R50 – RSVP is recommended due to limited space

Get you ticket here!


Saturday 29 September – 12h > 17h

To celebrate the end of this month full of creativity, joins us for a festive day at Dibuka in the garden of the Alliance Française of Johannesburg!

Until 17h…

Make your own silkscreen on bags with Alphabet Zoo

Take part in one of the kid friendly activities

Enjoy music from State Proof inspired by francophone musicians

Get new books at the Bridge Books stale

Have food and drinks at the food market

Facebook event here!



Icinori, aka Mayumi Otero & Raphael Urwiller are a French duo whose collaborative efforts have been them illustrate, design, print and publish works across a range of mediums. They have been commissioned by Le Monde, New York Times, and Canal + among others.

More information here


Alphabet Zoo is a duo of Johannesburg based traditional printmaking artists that formed a street-culture zine that invites collaboration from artists, illustrators, publishers and designers. It was established in 2010.

More information here


Young Bucks is a new platform for experimenting with books and creating custom stationery. Based at the up-and-coming maker space at Victoria Yards in Lorentzville, the artists’ collective includes Victoria Wigzell and Madeleine Dymond they have facilitated bookbinding workshops for over two years at NGOs, schools, universities, and private venues.

More information here


Kwasha! is a young theatre company that was formed as part of a collaboration between the Market Theatre Foundation and the historic Windybrow Arts Centre. Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi is a selftaught dancer-choreographer with 11 years of experience, having started in community theatre at the age of 4. Along with Sinenhlanhla, Mathews Rantsoma toured the UK last year with the international production Encountering the Othe. Khanyisile Ngwabe is an accomplished singer who also got her start in community theatre. Lesego Chabedi made her television debut this April on the new web series Bold Girls and Balindile ka Ngcobo is a popular voice-over artist who also makes her television debut later this year in the British drama series The Widow.

More information here


Naomi van Niekerk is an inter-disciplinary artist working in film, theatre and print-making. She was awarded the prize for the best first film at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2016 (‘n Gewone blou Maandagoggend) as well as the Creative Revelation Award at the Anima film festival in Brussels (My mamma is bossies) She is the Creative Director of Dryfsand-productions and collaborates with composer with Arnaud van Vliet. They are 2018 Digilab Africa Winners in the VR Category with their project II Worlds.

More information here


Lindiwe Matshikiza is an artist who uses theatre making tools to extend into film, music and various other disciplines. She is a performer, as well as a director and a writer.

More information here


Breeze Yoko is a South African-based multidisciplinary artist specialising in video/film and graffiti. His films have won awards at the Tricontinental Film Festival, South Africa; Special mention in the Sienna Film Festival, Italy; and Dak’Art, Senegal. Traveling by road across west Africa to Europe, he painted in over 13 countries. Yoko recently went on residency at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris where he started his first bande dessinée.

More information here


Daniel Browde has worked variously as a researcher, actor and editor (film and text). With artist Josh Ryba he published the graphic novel Rebirth in 2013. His book The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde, an experimental biography of his grandfather, was longlisted for the Alan Paton Award in 2017.

More information here


State Proof is an ongoing sonic research project between Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Nathaniel Sheppard III, and Chad Cordeiro, which is aimed at exploring the ways in which individual and common music collections illustrate complex personal and global historical narratives. This project employs processes of listening, sharing and collecting: crate digging, listening sessions and freestyle DJ sets


Muriel Huet is the course director at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg. She is also a teaching consultant, conducting workshops on different pedagogic approaches at school and university level.

Raoudha Charni is a French teacher at Kingsmead College and part of the association of the French teachers of Gauteng.

Marylise Gordon is a French teacher at Roedean School and part of the association of the French teachers of Gauteng.

Griffin Shea is an American journalist and writer who moved to Johannesburg nine years ago. In 2016, he opened Bridge Books, an independent bookstore in the Joburg CBD that focuses on African writers.




French Institute of South Africa

Alliance Française Johannesburg


French Institute of South Africa

Alliance Française Johannesburg



Full program HERE


Dibuka Library

Dibuka is the largest francophone multimedia library in South Africa. Based in the gardens of the Alliance Française of Johannesburg, it offers 17 000 documents including books, CD’s, DVDs, magazines… And also a brand new Kids’ corner, a Comic Wall, a Cinema loft and of course, a space dedicated to French learners.

The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS)

As the cultural agency of the French Embassy in South Africa, IFAS-Culture organizes artistic events throughout the country all year round. Events organized and supported by IFAS take place in venues and festivals throughout the country, allowing the Institute to establish relationships with various South African partners. As part of its mission, IFAS-Culture encourages cultural diversity and exchanges between South Africa, France and the rest of the African continent by supporting artistic events ranging from contemporary dance, theatre, puppetry and music, to contemporary art exhibitions and literature.

The Alliance Francaise of Johannesburg

The Alliance Française was established in 1883 in Paris by eminent figures of the arts, the sciences, and politics to ensure the influence of the French language and culture around the world. Alliance Française in South Africa provides a wide-ranging performing arts program presenting a unique mix of theatre, music, visual arts and dance, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in partnership with local companies or cultural bodies. The association Alliance Française in South Africa is a state-approved public benefit organization.


17 Lower Park Drive – Parkview – Johannesburg

011 646 1115 ext.4


Ambre Arcangeli : 011 646 1169