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KOMIKAZEN: 4th INTERNATIONAL REALITY COMIC FESTIVAL

Make your plans now! :)  Well it does look interesting and if you're already in the neighborhood OF Ravenna, Italy on October 10-11th, I'd bet the Komikazen comics festival will be pretty cool.  More details in the official press release below:

Ravenna once again will become the centre of reality comics and experimental comics with the Komikazen Festival. Two days of exhibitions, meetings and workshops with a final performance on the occasion of the “notte d’oro” in Ravenna. In this fourth edition of Komikazen, the International Festival of Reality Comics, Ravenna is happy to host the first exhibition of Lebanese artists in Italy – who will meet the public and schools of the city among others – and in particular it is honoured to have as one of its guest Anke Feuchtenberger, who will not only do two exhibitions, but also a seminar with the women of the shelter of the prostitution project in Ravenna. Another guest of the Festival will be Federico Del Barrio, another unquestioned master of comic art from Spain together with Raùl and the writer Felipe Cava who has already been a guest in previous editions.

In addition to the German artist and Del Barrio, the young Lebanese author Zeina Abirached will also be present: the new Satrapi, acclaimed at the last festival of Angouleme, tells with delicacy and irony stories of a Beirut that has disappeared with a naïf and calligraphic style. Another guest from the Near East will be the Palestinian artist Samir Harb: architect by profession (on the staff of the Riwaq Biennial, the only international contemporary art event in the Palestinian territory) who loves graphic novels however. Palestine had a great artist, Naji al Ali, who was killed in mysterious circumstances in London in 1988. Samir used the same disenchanted approach and proved how the weapon of caricature can be effective in revealing hypocrisy and injustice but also the joy of everyday life.

For the second year the best talents in comic art from the Region of Emilia-Romagna will be awarded prizes; in fact on the occasion of Komikazen there will be a presentation of two books by the winners of the last edition, Leonardo Guardigli (for Centro Andrea Pazienza) and Marino Neri (Kappa Publishing). The exhibitions will be held in various locations in the city and will be open to the public for a longer period: some until 7 January 2009 (consult the detailed calendar in the site).

Biographical notes on some of the guests:

Federico Del Barrio, born in Madrid in 1957, he is one of the most important comic authors in Spain. Artist, illustrator, graphic artist and theatre scriptwriter. He is a multifaceted intellectual who is a part of the happy group lead by the writer Felipe H. Cava and who formed part of the creative broth of sequential art in post-Franco Spain. He has taken part in numerous collective works such as 11-M Once Miradas, on the terrorist attack of 11 March in Madrid (presented in 2005 at the first edition of Komikazen). He has published a number of comics in France, while in Italy El Artefacto perverso is coming out for Comma 22 publishers on the
occasion of this new edition of Komikazen.

Anke Feuchtenberger, born in East Berlin in 1963, for many years she has published her stories in the international press and major German daily newspapers such as ”Die Zeit”, “Junge Welt”, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Her first book – a collection of stories entitled Herzhaft – lebenslänglich – dates from 1993 and over the years she has continued to publish alone or in collaboration with the writer Katrin de Vries with whom she produced, among others, La puttana P getta il guanto (Die Hure H zieht ihre Bahnen, 2003),
the last book published in Italian by Logos and presented at the Festival. She also works as an illustrator drawing posters for dance and theatre shows and since 1997 she has been teaching a course at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung of Hamburg. In Italy she has produced illustrations for “Lo Straniero” while one of her books - Quando muore il mio cane mi faccio una giacca – has been published by Coconino Press (2005) allowing us to become acquainted with her fragmented oneiric narration, innocent and at the same time ruthless.

Zeina Abirached, born in Beirut in 1981, spent her childhood in a house located on the ‘green line’, the demarcation zone that cut the city of Beirut into two during the civil war. Her mother invented a story for her every day to hide the reality of the war that was raging just a few yards from their street. After studying at the Lebanese Academy of fine Arts she was inspired to produce these episodes as her first album, Catharsis.  In Catharsis, which won first prize at the comic festival of Beirut in 2002, the art is once again in black and white in a clean style with all the drama of Beirut combined with the view of a child discovering the reality of the world. In the ‘book-object’ 38 rue Youssef Semaan, the second album which takes its name from her home address, she depicts with the same poetry and contrasts the familiar figures of the neighbours and traders that have come to know about the forgotten war. In her last album, Mourir, partir, revenir she gives Beirut the main character to which is added the theme of the escape towards other places.

The exhibitions will be open until 7 January. For the detailed biographies of the authors exhibited and the guests visit the site www.mirada.it/komikazen

For information info@mirada.it tel. +39.0544 217359 or +39 346 4925633 Press
office: Marcella Matacena 338.2028579 marcella.matacena@libero.it