Animating Europe: Connecting comics and politics
Since the start of the competition in 2013, we already three times sent out a call to artists all over the world to share their ideas and visions about Europe with us. And since we are in the “Comic-Country” Belgium, of course we asked them to bring these ideas down on paper in form of graphic novels!
We asked them to “(Re-)Animate Europe”!
The results are three 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 stroies with as many people as possible!
Feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to receive a copy (or several copies) of our comic books or to use our exhibition! They are available in German and in English, and the 2017 versions even in French!
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 three rounds in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
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? How can it regain its energy? Who or what will be the magical healer or super hero who can find the right medicine for Europe’s ailing heart?
And that is exactly what our stories do – providing various and sometimes even contradictory answers to these questions. Whether you’re looking at our three 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 or the comic “The old lady gives no answer” that is calling for taking a stand for Europe: all of them tell very different stories of Europe’s past, 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
All 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 page of their prospective story. Our expert jury took a close look at all the entries – in the 2017 competition that meant evaluating a total of 75 entries from 24 countries!
In the second phase, seven finalists were selected. Our jury got together once again and faced the difficult task of choosing a winner.
Do you want more info about our Animate Europe competition or would you like to receive copies of our comics? Contact Chloé Melchionne via mail or phone: +32 2 282 09 32.