Amir & Khalil | Morvandiau | Seth Tobocman | Magdy El Shafee
Frédéric Coché | Olivier Deprez | Pino Creanza | Ganzeer | Barrak Rima
Giancarlo Ascari | Matteo Guarnaccia | Fabio Sera | Helena Klakočar
Gathering of Authors, workshops and performances from 9th to 13th of November
Exhibitions until 29th January 2012
Ravenna / Bologna – Various Venues
The seventh edition of Festival Internazionale del Fumetto di realtà Komikazen will introduce, as in its tradition, significant previews of major internationally accredited authors, who are still unpublished in Italy, along with names of the comics world who are well known to Italian audiences.
Born under the sign of the research and investigation on the relationship between representation of reality and literature drawn, Komikazen does not betray of the Ninth Art's fans’ hunger for novelty and intense encounters and 'close-ups' with authors. Beside the numerous opportunities for reflection and analysis, there will be cutting edge exhibitions and workshops with the international guests for professionals as well as for amateurs.
This year's edition casts a special look at comics of the Arab world and Middle East, given the events and the social and political movements which over the past months have taken place in this part of the World.
The opening of the festival will be an encounter in Bologna at the Bartleby free space with the visual icon of the American militancy Seth Tobocman on November 9. On the following day, always in Bologna, at … the encounter with the Amir and Khalil, authors of Zahra's Paradise whose true identity is protected by anonymity for obvious political reasons, will take place.
Komikazen has scheduled a videoconference connection that will provide college students and the general public the extraordinary opportunity to hear the message of freedom and democracy yelled by the Iranian people.
The Festival’s program returns then to Ravenna, where MAR – the City Art Museum will host most of the events of the festival, starting with an exceptional collective exhibition, The Mask of Power, where, exclusively for Italy, the original plates of Amir and Khalil’s Zahra's Paradise, the comic book series that the two Iranian writers have published online in a blog that has gained immediate interest and has been translated into 8 languages and recently released in Italy by Rizzoli Lizard, will be shown. Set immediately after the hoax elections of 2009 in Iran, Zahra's Paradise is the fictionalized story of the search for Mehdi, a young protester disappeared in the gulags of the Islamic Republic. Mehdi has vanished into that twilight zone outside the law wherein there is no right of habeas corpus. It won’t be thanks to the law that his memory will survive, but thanks to the commitment and courage of a mother who refuses to surrender her son to its fate, and the tenacity of a brother (a blogger) that will combine culture and technology to explore and deflagrate that dreadful absence: the void where Medhi is fallen into. The story was born, and demanded to be told, just as the world was becoming witness - via YouTube, Twitter and various blogs - of what could not be kept hidden anymore.
The Mask of Power also shows the plates of Magdy El Shafee's Metro, a graphic novel characterized by strong realism with which the Egyptian artist has shaken the international public opinion, providing an insight of the current situation in Egypt . In this setting at MAR the plates of guest authors will be presented as a unique form of collective storytelling that focuses on the many aspects of power: an issue that has shaken the conscience of many and has led yo still undefinable twists. Therefore the works of Italian Pino Creanza, with Cairo Blues, and the graphic works by Mohamed Fahmy, aka Ganzeer - the artist who represented the voices of protest and the request of freedom of expression for the Egyptian people through his murals and graffiti in the streets of Cairo, will also be shown. By the American cartoonist Seth Tobocman, founder of World War 3 Illustrated with Peter Kuper. In addition to Disaster and Resistance (Hazard 2010), his most important collection of works composed over the Zero years, Tobocman will present his latest work done for the movement Occupy Wall Street.
Morvandiau (France) will be presenting the originals from the book D'Algérie, a successful and choral family autobiography, but also an investigation not yet fully resolved issuees in the relationships between France and Algeria. The Breton artist conducts research on his family's ties with France's colonial adventure, documenting the complex cultural and social aspects of the French-Algerian relationship, giving shape to a graphic novel that is both personal and public.
The sea voyage along the coast of Yugoslavia in the days when the country was shattered by the blows of the various nationalistic movements is told by Helena Klakočar through the pages of the graphic novel Mare Inquieto (Comunicarte, 2011).
The Festival exposes the original drawings of an autobiographical work by this Croatian artist, drawn by a swift and light hand and adressing the universal themes of distance, loss of home and identity.
Another exhibition of great interest will be hosted at the gallery myCamera, and is dedicated to the original work of Frederic Coche and Olivier Deprez entitled Il fantasma del fumetto.
The two artists, who use the incision to create original comic plates, have focused on the creation of a work for four hands with a psychiatric patient (Coche) and - with the same technique – Deprez has instead addressed the symbolic representation oof the Dialctic of Enlightenment by Adorno and Horkheimer.
The illustrations, portraits and maps that Giancarlo Ascari (Elfo in art) and Matteo Guarnaccia dedicated to the city of Milan in Quelli che Milano (Rizzoli, 2011), round off the exhibits’ program. Just likea a dictionary with 200 entries and 150 drawings that tells the story of both known and unknown people, places and phenomena of the Northern capital. A drawn ethnographic survey wich offers an interesting view on the present and future of a cross-road-city of the Italian society, by reading its past.
The vision of the world leads precisely to the crossroads, and hence to the Doppio Senso (double meaning) show, at the Mirada gallery, designed by Barrak Rima (who will attend for the occasion), Jana Traboulisi, Paper Resistance, Gianluca Costantini, Fadi Adleh, Allegra Corbo, Hala Dabji , Manolo Vito Roma: the show is the result of a workshop conducted by the fore mentioned four Italian and Lebanese artists in Beirut which led to the development of 4 books in limited copies drawn together by all artists.
However Komikazen is not only a place of knowledge, reflection, but also a site of production: the protagonists are the young artists of Emilia Romagna, to whom the selection Komikazen, awarded by the realization of a book with the best selected work is adressed For the fifth year the winner of the selection will be identified allowing an artist under 35 to produce a book for the publisher Comma 22.
The 2010 award-winning by Fabio Sera volume will also be presented. In this book, the author addresses the issue of sexual identity by narrating the story of Romina - one of the first transsexuals that changed sex in Italy –and by reading of the daily life of this person ad a nearly seventy years old lady.
The present of an elderly and lonely woman is proposed through a stylistic choice which is consistent with the subject and through a distinctive and non-trivial stroke.
During the festival workshops for professionals will take place (Friday, November 11 with Seth Tobocman) as well as meetings with schools, children's workshops (conducted by Marina Girardi and Rocco Lombardi).
Some information around the Festival.
Mirada has curated and organized big exhibitions and workshops with comic artists like Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, Aleksandar Zograf, Danijel Zezelj, and many others.
The need to tell reality is becoming urgent in an era where understanding if the reality that we are told is reliable and likely is becoming increasingly difficult.
In the world of comics, marked by a superficial carelessness by definition, an absolutely fantastic and imaginative forge of the un-real, the trend of reality storytelling is all in all rather ancient
(Obviously considering this in the meaning that this adjective can have when it comes to this medium). The trend towards autobiography, memoir, history and reportage of the real have always been there and it has always been innate to many of the great masters of sequential art.
Komikazen is a promoter of European and Mediterranean circuit of artistic and research comic which includes: Periscopages Association _ Rennes (Francia) , Babel – Atene (Greece), Comica – London (UK), Chili cum Carne - Lisbon (Portugal), Boom Festival – S. Petersburg (Russia), La Maison du Livre – Beirut (Lebanon)
Former guests at Komikazen: Raul, Felipe H. Cava, Khamel Khelif, Tomaz Lavric, Nicole Schulman, Phebe Gloeckner, the Turkish authors of Le Man magazine, Stripburger, Filipe Abranches, Marcos Farrajota, Le Dernier Cri, Ho Che Anderson, Stefano Ricci, Samir Harb, Federico Del Barrio, Nadim Tarazi with the lLbanese authors, Anke Feuchtenberger, Giuseppe Palumbo, Vittorio Giardino, Paolo Bacilieri, Dave McKean, Davide Toffolo, Carlos Trillo, Peter Kuper, Maximilien Le Roy, Pablo Alaudell, Apostolos Doxiadis, Igort, Aleksandar Zograf.