Upcoming event: Award ceremony, exhibition and reception – International Comics Competition Animate Europe 2015 “Europe Fast Forward”


Wednesday, 14 October 2015
18.30 – 21.30

Venue: Comics Art Museum Brussels, Zandstraat/Rue du sable 20, 1000 Brussels

In the beginning, there was war. Then a project was set up to bring peace and prosperity to Europe. Today, it has grown to be an ever closer union of 28 very diverse member states. In recent years, the European project has been braving troubled waters. Though it remains a fascinating idea, it is struggling with a popularity low. We asked: What future do you foresee for Europe?

60 artists from 23 countries looked into their crystal ball and sent us their proposal. Our jury selected seven to finish their graphic short story. On 14 October we are going to award the first prize winner and present the finalists’ comics. Continue reading

Europe Fast Forward – And the winner is…

Gruppenfoto JuryWith the jury session, the second edition of our International Comics Competition Animate Europe came to a close. This year’s topic was “Europe Fast Forward”. Out of the 60 entrants from 23 countries our expert jury selected seven finalists who finished an eight-page comic story on the future of Europe.

Now the jury has come together to select the winning story and appoint a winner. Is it the poem on the survival of past injuries by Bue Bredsdorff, the vision of Europe for citizens by Domingo Pozanco, the love story in times of climate change by Eva Hilhorst, the vision of Europe as an amusement park by Jenny Robins, the tale of tolerance by Maran Hrachyan, the story of a split-up by Nicole Knötig or the Sci-Fi utopia by Sara Ferreira and Gisela Martins?

If you can’t wait to find out, join us for our award ceremony at the Belgian Comic Strip Center on 14 October 2015.

“Europe Fast Forward” – Next stop: The full stories

bild finalisten60 submissions to this year’s edition of our comics competition Animate Europe reached us, coming from artists in 23 countries. On 30 March, our expert jury came together to select the seven finalists who will finish an eight-page comic on the future of Europe by end of August.

It was a tough call, but eventually the jury agreed on the following submissions:

  •  Europe 2065, a poem in comic form by Bue Bredsdorff (Denmark)
  •  Boundless, a story of a European Union in 2415 that has evolved beyond borders and nationalities by Sara Ferreira and Gisela Martins (Portugal)
  •  After the tempest, a vision of Europe inspired by William Shakespeare’s drama by Eva Hilhorst (Netherlands)
  •  Europe is a Human Being, an anecdote on overcoming prejudice by Maran Hrachyan (Armenia)
  •  The Union, a tale of an imminent break-up of the European Union by Nicole Knötig (Germany)
  •  Europe, imagine a future, a dream of a new social model for the European Union by Domingo Pozanco Torrejón (Spain) and
  • Europeland, a story of the evolution of European cultural heritage by Jenny Robins (Great Britain)

Keep an eye on our website or follow us on Facebook to be among the first to read the stories!

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Auf Deutsch:

“Europe Fast Forward” – Nächster Halt: Die ganzen Geschichten!

Continue reading

“Europe Fast Forward” – 60 artists sent us their vision of the future of Europe

collageLast Sunday, the first phase of our international comics competition “Animate Europe” came to a close. 60 submissions have reached us and were forwarded to our expert jury. They will select the seven finalists who will be asked to finish an eight-page comic story on the future of Europe.

We are looking forward immensely to reading them!

Europe Fast Forward – What does the future hold for us?

Europe and the comic art, a match made in heaven!

What better medium could there be to bring across a message without depending solely on language?

That’s what we thought when conceptualizing our international comics competition Animate Europe. You haven’t heard of it yet? Well, have a look:

You are a comics artist and have a vision for Europe? Do share it with us!

Free speech and the “ninth art”

logo angoulemeWith the international comics competition Animate Europe, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation connected the European idea with the comics art in 2013. 35.000 visitors saw the resulting exhibition in various locations around Europe last year. Reason enough to visit the Festival de la Bande Dessinée in the French town Angoulême. This comics festival end of January, the biggest of its kind in Europe, is normally a family reunion of sorts for comics artists, publishers and comics arts aficionados from all over the world. For forty-two years it has been a celebration of the “ninth art” presenting its full scope to hundreds of thousands of professionals and visitors.

IMG_5725This years’ edition was overshadowed by the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack earlier that month. Instead of this festival’s president Bill Watterson and his famous comics characters Calvin & Hobbes who should have been in the focus, the festival organizers spontaneously made the tribute to the victims’ work the overarching theme of the festival. Not only was there a Charlie Hebdo exhibition at the comics museum and were the magazine’s past front pages posted all over town. There was even a square named after the magazine and the editorial team awarded a special Grand Prix. And what’s more, a new “Charlie Hebdo Freedom of Speech Award” saw the light and will be awarded yearly from now on to artists who fight against censorship and repression.

Although the festival brought together all the big names in the comics business today, it also had an air of nostalgia about it, most of the important exhibitions not looking ahead at the future of this art and the evolution of the business, but back to the impressive work of artists such as Bill Watterson and this year’s Grand Prix winner Katsuhiro Otomo who haven’t drawn in years, or the late Jack Kirby, the American super hero artist, or Tove Jansson, the Finnish creator of the Moomins. But besides that, there were still an overwhelming lot of artists and their creative work to discover. The publishers’, arts schools, comics festival organizers’ and other comics associations’ stands were squeezed into several enormous tents set up in the largest squares of the town, which made it virtually impossible to see and experience it all.

Judging by the attention the comics art is getting during those four festival days, you could say that it is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a cross-over form of literature in its own right able to bring across serious plots in only seemingly a more light-hearted way. But life is getting harder for comics artists today. The sheer number of publications makes it difficult for artists to live off their art.

IMG_5750As an encouragement to students and upcoming artists and at the same time as a means to reignite the dormant debate on the future of Europe amongst young people, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is organizing this year for the second time the international comics competition Animate Europe and is still extending its call for entries. With this mission, we mingled with the Angoulême crowd discussing the necessity of support to this beautiful and diverse art as well as of the search for a new narrative for Europe. What will Europe look like in 25, 50 or 100 years? Are you a comics artist and do you have a vision for Europe? Join our competition before 15 March!

Christina Brunnenkamp