Exhibition and promotion of the VOLVOX, engaged comic book


TUESDAY, MARCH 25 at 8 p.m.
ART Clinic, Greek School 5

The exhibition will present over 60 works that arrived within the competition on the topics of nationalism, racism, discrimination, poverty, transition, unemployment, gender rights, ecology, corruption, youth mobility, and other social problems that shake modern Serbia. There will also be a promotion of the VOLVOX comic book almanac that brings together all these works. On that occasion, awards will be given to the best works in the selection of the jury consisting of Sasa Rakezic-Zograf, Jovan Gvero, and Vladimir Arsenijevic.

TUESDAY, MARCH 25 at 10 p.m.
Youth Center CK13
comic party: DJ JOHN MOOSHEMA


Volvox is a genus of colonial whipworms, consisting of 500 to 60,000 interconnected individuals. All individuals were connected by cytoplasmic extensions and immersed in fir matter, building a colony. The colony looks like a hollow green ball that can be up to 2 mm in diameter. The daughters of the colony are formed by division within the parent colony. All individuals have 2 whips, which are used for movement. Volvoks mostly live in bars.

Word or two: "Competition for engaged comics" is a project implemented by the Alternative Cultural Organization - AKO and the Center for New Media_kuda.org from Novi Sad. The idea was simple: to use an unjustly neglected medium and through it to elaborate on certain problems of modern Serbian society. Topics are nationalism, racism, discrimination, poverty, transition, unemployment, gender rights, ecology, corruption, and youth mobility.

The numbers speak for themselves about the quantitative success of the competition: 47 authors and screenwriters sent a total of 65 comics on over 150 boards. An expert jury consisting of Sasa Rakezic alias Aleksandar Zograf, one of our most prominent comic artists, took care of standardizing the quality of the submitted works; Jovan Gvero, director of the Student Cultural Center in Novi Sad, and Vladimir Arsenijević, famous writer and publisher.

According to their choice, the first prize went to the young Novi Sad comic book author Ljubo Babić for the comic "5 phases of unsportsmanlike acceptance of defeat". The second prize was also won by a citizen of Novi Sad, Slobodan Stošić, for his work "Forest Fairy Tale". The third prize was shared by two participants in the competition - Slaviša Ševrt from Belgrade for the comic "Portrait of a Contemporary" and Vladimir Kuzmanov from the USA for the work "Fasces". A special award was also given to the youngest participant in the competition - it is a talented nine-year-old Anja Tanović from Novi Sad.

The results of this project can be discussed from two aspects. On the one hand, this emphasized "engagement", ie the need to deal with living problems, their critique, and re-examination, met with an even more lively response from the artists. The everyday life of Serbian society, drowning in nationalism, discrimination, and poverty, obviously provides a bitter inspiration that clearly emerges from the works within the cover of this almanac. It is up to the reader to assess how much the creative spirit has managed to use that charge and turn it into something meaningful. At the same time, this book represents a useful register of the present and future of the local comic scene. It is our sincere hope that we support her at least a little with these efforts.

Momcilo Jovanov
Ilija Kuzmanović

(Alternative cultural organization - AKM)

What does our reality look like when we talk about it through comics? And can comics critically look at reality, which we all know is pregnant, transitional, on the edge of a razor? Some of the answers to this question are contained in the stories created for the competition, whose deadline for the arrival of works was accidentally fixed in mid-February 2008, a few days before the events in our environment made reporters from all world agencies jump off their chairs again. Given that the country we live in has been going through turbulent states for so long that we have stopped counting the years, there seems to be some organic need for people from creation to talk about it all. Maybe just comic book authors, why not?

And, now that all that material is on the table, the modest team that was convened to do the commission work after the arrival of the works, came to the conclusion that there was some good and some bad news. The bad news is that there were no works to blow us away. As if all the drama of our everyday life was not enough to inspire an extraordinary creative upswing. The good news, however, is that there is quite a variety of styles and approaches (including the work of a nine-year-old girl!), And that the creators of modern comic expressions have long been associated not only with the main city centers. It is already a sign of vitality that should be welcomed, and from which, with further work and encouragement, something exciting could emerge. Namely, if we want to nurture a "scene" at all, and to open space for new names, it is a job that requires the work not only of those who create comics but also of those who will support this type of creativity. This competition could be a pebble in that mosaic.

Sasa Rakezic alias Aleksandar Zograf, president of the jury

Comic invisible art

The attempt to use the "Engaged Comics" competition to give many authors the opportunity to express their views legitimizes comics and authors as active and legitimate participants in our anti-schizophrenic reality. There are many reasons why it is necessary to emphasize that, but among other things, above all, the position of our comics and most authors, for whom comics are the basic vocation. But, without lamentation, things change and this competition is a good example of reaffirmation of comics. The wide-open topic of the competition question gave the opportunity to authors of various generations and genre determinations and manuscripts to offer their old and new works and try to define "engagement" or to open it further, which is not a rare case here (Serbia). Thirty authors (exactly 33) and five duos used all known techniques: from classic comics, ink drawing, to computer and design tricks from Photoshop. Of course, it is a real refreshment that a girl born in '99 was among the authors. years, but also many experienced authors known from before (prosecuting authorities !?). From the narratively elaborated topic of "engagement" to the subjective understanding in stroke, symbol, and simple drawing, the authors have put us in doubt as to what would be our message on that topic here and today. As we ponder our story, look at how the braver of us did it.

Jovan Gvero



Edition: Dirty Books

Editor of the edition: Jovan Gvero

Editor: Alternative Cultural Organization - AKM

Institution Student Cultural Center, Novi Sad
Dr Ilije Đuričića 3, Novi Sad
Tel: 021 6350 579 and 6350 744

For the publisher: Jovan Gvero, director of SKC, Novi Sad

Translation: Gordana Randjic, Sonja Miller, Ilija Kuzmanovic

Proofreading: Momcilo Jovanov

Edition prepared for print: mimisuperheroj gmail.com

Front page: Daško Milinović, Ilija Kuzmanović

Press: Futura, Petrovaradin

Circulation: 500

Year of publication: 2008

ISBN 978-86-85983-32-0

Youth Center CK13
Vojvode Bojovića 13, Novi Sad
Tel / fax: +381 (0) 21 4737 601

Alternative cultural organization - AKM
Vojvode Bojovića 13, Novi Sad
Tel / fax: +381 (0) 21 4737 601

Center for New Media_kuda.org
Braće Mogin 2, Novi Sad
Tel: +381 (0) 21 512227

The project was supported by:
Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth of AP Vojvodina
Swiss Culture Program Serbia