Have you been wondering what happened after the July Award Ceremony of our third “Animate Europe” competition? Our “Re-Animate Europe” exhibition was hosted at a series of events in Europe in the last few months – many more are planned for the end of 2017! Continue reading
Excitement was in the air right before the winner of the third international comic competition “Animate Europe” was announced at the Belgian Comic Strip Museum. Magdalena Kaszuba received the first prize for her comic “The Old Lady Gives No Anwser”. Kaszuba, a student from Hamburg/ Germany, was surprised and overwhelmed to be chosen as the winner of the competition.
The Award Ceremony of our third “Animate Europe” comic competition is getting closer – we’re already very excited to announce the winner at the event on 11. July (sign up for the event here). In the meantime, we wanted to share with you some of the highlights of our Animate Europe exhibitions we have had in the past– while we are looking forward to many more to come!
From personifications of the mythical Europe, from stories of refugees and migration to tales about European art and culture – we were overwhelmed by the record number of entries for our “Re-Animate Europe” comic competition.
By our deadline in early February we received 75 entries from 24 different countries. Our expert jury surely didn’t have an easy job selecting our seven finalists.
In the end, however, they found consensus and agreed on the following artists (in alphabetical order):
Jordana Globerman (UK): “My Uncle’s Dream”
Find her here: http://www.jordanagloberman.com/
Stefan Haller (Switzerland): “Back to the Grass Roots”
Find him here: http://www.stefanhaller.ch/illu/comic1.html
Štepánka Jislová (Czech Republic): “How to Save the World”
Find her here: http://www.jislova.com/
Noelle Kröger (Germany): “There’s a Way”
Find her here: https://noellekroeger.tumblr.com/
Magdalena Kaszuba (Germany): “Spaziergang durch Europa/ A Walk Through Europe”
Find her here: http://magdalenakaszuba.blogspot.de/
Davide Pascutti (Italy): “The CreatEUre”
Find him here: http://davidepascutti.deviantart.com/
Paul Rietzl (Germany): “A Dream of Europe”
Find him here: http://www.paulrietzl.de/website/pages/page_start.html
The seven finalist were now asked to send in their full eight-page comic story. End of May, our jury will meet once more to determine the winner of this years’ competition.
We’re more than looking forward to getting our hands on the completed stories – and finding out who has the most convincing story of how to “Re-Animate Europe”!
Why did we choose the medium of comics, for our Animate Europe competition (currently running in its third round)? Why not movies or caricatures or something else entirely? It might have to do with the fact that we’re right in the heart of comic country Belgium. Willem de Graeve, Director of the Belgian Comic Strip Center and jury member in our first two Animate Europe competition rounds, gives us some insights into why the “ninth art” is so popular in Belgium.
With more than 700 professional comic strip authors, Belgium has more comic strip artists per square kilometer than any other country in the world. It is in this country where comic strips have grown from a popular medium into an art in its own right. Nowhere else are comics so deeply rooted in everyday life and in peoples’ imagination.
Alina Valentin, intern at the European Dialogue Programme of the FNF in Brussesls, shares her experiences presenting our international comic competition “Animate Europe” at the World Forum for Democracy.
The World Forum for Democracy (WDF) is a platform which fosters democratic participation and strengthens democracies by showcasing innovative projects and grassroot initiatives by decision-makers and activists. Considering that this years’ forum evolved around the relationship between education and democracy, we knew it would be a great opportunity to bring our international comic competition “Animate Europe” to Strasbourg. After all, the competition aimed at generating interest and curiosity about Europe and thereby creating civic engagement and democratic foundations for a strong Union and beyond. The feedback we received from the international participants of the WDF very much reinforced both our decision to exhibit the comics (competition round 2015) at the Forum and the value of the competition as such: it gives citizens the power to express their opinions and visions creatively, by combining politics and art and comics in particular.
„This is brilliant! Our people are searching for innovative ways to communicate politics and reach different groups of people apart from those constantly participating – and they haven’t come up with such a great idea! I’m going to tell them about this, this is awesome!”
As I presented the comics to people from all over the world, I was particularly happy to get into conversations with people less involved in comics and arts in general. I especially kept two young English-speaking men in good memory. They themselves were not fond of drawing, but they were so impressed by the idea that they started to think of a strategy to compete anyway: “Well, if I come up with a really good story, I wonder if only drawing stick men would influence my winning chances. We still have three months… we will be sitting under the Christmas tree drawing”. I encouraged them to give it a try and am now very eager and exited to find out if they will actually participate!
Compliments reached us from all sides – from associates of the Council of Europe as one of the organizers of the WDF, over a representative of the English Parliament to collaborators of the Civic Education Academy in the Kyrgyz Republic. I was very impressed not only by the great interest of everyone who stopped at our table, but also by the effect and impact such a creative, innovative ideaas launching a comic competition about Europe can have on citizens from different countries, age groups, organizations and backgrounds.
Overwhelmed by the large number of people interested in the comics, impressed by the diverse stories and experiences they shared with me, enthusiastic about the wide range of audience we reached and pleased with making so many individuals happy with our printed comic books, I returned to Brussels with the feeling that the next competition round, “Re-Animate Europe”, will turn out to be a great success!