Gepubliceerd op 27-05-2017 om 14:34u
door Saskia Gheysens
Exchanging = learning
Since a few years - once a year - the ECC-team travels to an other city to attend the opening ceremony of an international cartoon festival. So in the past you could see us in Vianden (Luxemburg), Marostica (Italy), Berlin (Germany), Legnica (Poland), St. Just (France), The Dutch cartoonfestival (The Netherlands), Porto (Portugal), ... etc.
This year we did choose one of the oldest festivals in the world: Gabrovo in Bulgaria. We have a long tradition of collaboration with the Gabrovo House of Humour and Satire, but we did not meet the new director - Margarita Dorovska - yet. So this was a good reason to travel to Bulgaria.
Our first day we spend in Sofia with Ivailo Tsvetkov and some other cartoonists and on Friday we took the bus to Gabrovo. We were welcomed by the president of the 'Club of Belgian Friends' Mariana Basheva and here husband at the busstation.
In the evenening we went to the inauguration and after a few minutes we allready saw some friends: Jean-Marie Bertin (France) and Andrei Popov (Russia) were both jury members and it was nice to meet them again.
The House of Humour, a museum completly devoted to all forms of laughter, is an amazing building with huges exhibition halls. For the 23th edition of the biennial there were 3 exhibitions. Of course the contest for cartoons, a contest for contemporary art, both about the theme 'Laughing in the face of...' and a curated exhibition. 749 artists from 71 countries took part in this years edition. Almost half of the artistс who sent proposals for the juried exhibition are new to the Biennial.
The fact that the theme is rather broad and the three different exhibitions makes that it is a very diverse exhibition, inspite of the size of the exhibition. We were also very proud to see our Belgian friends: Constantin Sunnerberg, Stefaan Provijn and O-Sekoer among the selected cartoonists.
A lot of people came to the museum for the inauguration. But the speeches were so long - and only in Bulgarian - that only a few (the winners, organisers, jury members and ... the ECC-team) people made it to the end. But we were rewarded for that with drinks and finger food and an after party.
On Saturday we had a meeting with Margarita to exchange experiences and talk about future collaborations. We also had the oportunity to visit the library/archive of the museum. At eleven we attended some lectures by the jury members and so we learned about French cartooning by Jean-Marie.
In the late afternoon we did go to the Gabrovo Carneval and so ended our official part of our trip to Bulgaria.
Exchanges like that are always great learning experiences.
Hope to see you next year on an other festival (suggestions are more than welcome!)
More information about this 23th edition and some works you can find on the website of the House of Humour and Satire.
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