Cahier N° 29

Cahier N° 29
© Graphisme:

«Friedrich Dürrenmatt – The Virus Epidemic in South Africa» with 12 Illustrations by Maurice Mboa, Cahier du CDN N°29, 2022. Edition: Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel (CDN). Bilingual French-English edition, 72 pages, design:, ISBN 978-2-9701282-8-1.

Preface, Sankie Mthembi-MahanyeleIntroduction, Madeleine Betschart«The Virus Epidemic in South Africa»Friedrich Dürrenmatt South Africa, Apartheid, and Coexistence, Rosalie Muswamba, Kanyana Mutombo

Price: 10,00 CHF

This cahier is published on the occasion of the exhibition Friedrich Dürrenmatt and the World. Resonance and Commitment, which took place at the CDN from 17 July to 12 December 2021.

This is a new edition of the Cahier No8, with illustrations by the artist Maurice Mboa, and produced by the Université populaire africaine in Geneva (UPAF).


Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Born in the Emmental region of Switzerland, Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990) moved to the Vallon de l’Ermitage, Neuchâtel, in 1952, where lived until his death. It is also where he created a large part of his work both as a writer and painter.

Madeleine Betschart

An art historian and archeologist, Madeleine Betschart has served as Director of the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel since 2014. Prior to her appointment, she was Deputy Director of the Swiss arts council Pro Helvetia in Zurich and responsible for the development of the Werner Oechslin Library Foundation in Einsiedeln. She also directed the Alimentarium Foundation in Vevey and the Museum Schwab in Biel.

Maurice Mboa

The artist Maurice Mboa was born in Cameroon in the early 1980s and has lived in Geneva since 2016.

Mboa employs a very distinctive engraving technique developed in Cameroon: he polishes and shapes African steel plates before he engraves them with impressionistic patterns and adds splashes of color. His works often depict abstract, faceless figures that seem to exist beyond time and space.

The impactful manner in which his artistic practice addresses the central problem of a fissured African identity is very powerful indeed. Le Temps described his work as “lustrous paintings like metallic masks. They are dormant mysteries. They stare at you from within.”

Maurice Mboa has exhibited in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and in Switzerland. He is considered an emerging talent by the Swiss and international art scenes. The present series of illustrations for Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s text is part of an awareness campaign initiated by the Université Populaire Africaine en Suisse (UPAF) in Geneva.

Realized to mark the centenaryof Dürrenmatt’s birth, it aims to highlight the Swiss artist and playwright’s vital contributions to anti-racism and diversity awareness.

Rosalie Muswamba

Born in 1969 in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rosalie Muswamba moved to Switzerland in 1969 and completed her basic schooling and university education in Geneva. A trained historian, she received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Geneva and a masters from Laval University in Quebec, Canada. She is a research associate and project manager at the Université Populaire Africaine en Suisse (UPAF) in Geneva. 

Ms. Muswamba contributed to previous CDN publications, including the Cahier Nr. 11 (Madeleine Betschart: Friedrich Dürrenmatt, un Suisse universel. Son oeuvre et son rayonnement, un regard synoptique, Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel, 2016). From 2015 to 2018, she contributed work to Synoptischen Tafel zu Leben, Werk und Einfluss von Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

Kanyana Mutombo

Kanyana Mutombo was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1949 and has lived in Switzerlandsince 1975. A Doctor of Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva, Mutombo is co-founder (2008) and Director of the Université Populaire Africaine en Suisse (UPAF) in Geneva. He also co-founded and edited the journal Regards Africains (1986–2005) and is co-founder and General Secretary of Carrefour de réflexion et d’action contre le racisme anti-Noir (CRAN, 2002, Bern), a platform and monitoring center for anti-Black racism in Switzerland.

As an international consultant and expert on racism and discrimination, Mutombo was in charge of UNESCO’s program to combat all forms of injustice. Furthermore, he is a specialist in identity issues,specifically relating to the world of Blacks, such as acculturation, racism, and cointegration, and has developed innovative teaching units informed by the central meaning of African Ubuntu philosophy and the deconstruction of colonial concepts.


Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel
Pertuis-du-Sault 74
2000 Neuchâtel
Phone +41 58 466 70 60

Print contact