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Abir Gasmi

After a degree in computer engineering, I decided to turn my life over and go back to my first love: writing. More precisely, storytelling. Visual storytelling. I started with scriptwriting for movies, I did a short fiction, A Woman and a Half, and a short animation, Fade. As I spent my college years in Fine Arts Institute, I had a lot of friends who were illustrators. I got interested in comics and did my first comic book, Oblation, in 2014 with a friend, in just two weeks. The book got published, and even won an award in Algiers. That's when Lab619, an independant collective of experimental comics based in Tunis, noticed me. That's also when I discovered I had the ability to manage a group. I joined the collective at the 4th issue of the magazine (the first comics magazine for grown ups in Tunisia), and at the 5th issue I became a coordinator. Lab619 did things differently, all by themselves, and I appreciated it. I always say that I thrive in the margin, and that's what I did with Lab619. I also wanted to reinforce collaboration with similar collectives and artists in the region, so I organised three artistic residencies for Lab619: Boundaries, Migration and Identity, with artists from many countries like Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Germany... For now, I try to focus on personal projects as well as discover new talents for Lab619.

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