Animating Europe: Connecting comics and politics
Twice already, we’ve sent out a call to artists all over the world to share their ideas and visions about Europe with us. And since we’re in “Comic-Country” Belgium, of course we asked them to bring them down on paper in form of graphic novels!
We asked them to “Animate Europe”!
The results are two diverse, at times colourful and funny, at times thought-provoking and abstract, comic anthologies, featuring the stories of our competition finalists In addition, the comics are available in form of a travelling exhibition – after all, we want to talk about Europe and share our stories with as many people as possible!
Feel free to get in touch if you would like to receive a copy (or several) of our comic books!
The aim of Animate Europe is to learn more about the idea of Europe and to see and discuss how it is perceived by its citizens – especially by those, who are not surrounded by political discussions in their everyday lives! At the request of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, asking for new and innovative ideas to communicate about Europe, we started brainstorming. The outcome: our international comic competition Animate Europe, so far conducted in two rounds in 2013 and 2015.
We hoped that the comics we receive would provide answers and ignite discussions about questions such as: Is there a strong vision of Europe? What can or should the future of Europe look like? How is Europe dealing with current crises? What topics and values lie at the heart of Europe and shape it?
And that is exactly what our stories do – providing various and sometimes even contradictory answers to these questions. Whether you’re looking at our two winning stories of Erasmus of Rotterdam discussing the EU’s present-day problems with a seal in the belly of a whale, or the warning message in “The Union”, which draws the grim vision of a divided Europe: all of them tell very different stories of Europe’s past and present and future, its opportunities and problems. They serve as food for thought and a basis for discussion on the Europe we would like to live in.
The competitions – how they went ahead
Both competition rounds took place in two phases: in a first phase the participants were asked to send a written proposal for a story together with the first two pages of their prospective story. Our expert jurys took a close look at all the entries – in the 2015 competition that meant evaluating a total of 60 entries from 23 countries!
In the second phase, after seven finalists have been selected, our jurys got together once again and faced the difficult task of choosing a winner – take a look at their decisions (links below) and find out more about our winners and their visions of Europe!
Do you want more info about our Animate Europe competition or would you like to receive copies of our comics? Contact Anna Reineke via mail or phone: +32 2 282 09 32.