Happy and Special Holidays to CAN FOR BALKANS!

The exhibition made by the Brașov County History Museum is presented at the Comics Art Museum, the most important comics museum in the world!

The next destination of the exhibition: Serbia

After Brașov and Tirana, the international exhibition “CAN for Balkans” is presented in Brussels, between December 21, 2022 and January 8, 2023.

The host of the exhibition is Center Belge de la Bande Dessinée (Comics Art Museum Brussels), one of the partners of the European project “CAN for Balkans – Comics Alliance Networking”. The other partners of the Brașov County History Museum, which is the project leader, are: the National Historical Museum of Albania, Comics Art Museum Brussels – Belgian Comic Strip Center, Comic Center of Macedonia (North Macedonia), Leskovac school of comic ”Nikola Mitrovic Kokan” (Serbia).

The “CAN for Balkans” exhibition (curator Nicolae Pepene) presents the scientific research and creativity of the “CAN for Balkans – Comics Alliance Networking” project, winning project in 2020 of the call Strengthening cultural cooperation with and competiveness of cultural and creative industries in the Western Balkans (EACEA 39/2019) , within the Creative Europe Funding Program.

The opening in Brussels took place on December 21, 2022. The event was attended by artists, representatives of the project partners and the financier, enthusiasts of historical comics, journalists and members of the official representations in Brussels. The Romanian ambassador, Mrs. Andreea Păstârnac, the Serbian ambassador, Mr. Aleksandar Tasić and the former Belgian ambassador to Serbia, Mr. Adam Koen, honored the invitation to participate in the event.

At the opening of the opening program of the “CAN for Balkans” exhibition, a presentation on “The Balkans in Belgian comics” was held by Michel De Dobbeleer from Ghent University, one of the researchers of the European project “CAN for Balkans – Comics Alliance Networking”.

Also, during the opening event, the catalog of the European project was launched, an album of 336 pages, with text in English, which includes the new historical comics, made and selected within the project, the summaries of the studies on the history of the historical comics from Yugoslavia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania and Romania and summaries of studies on clichés and stereotypes used in historical comics about and from the Balkans.

Part of the winners of the international call “CAN for Balkans – Comics Alliance Networking” also participated in the opening in Brussels: Răzvan Bronescu, the winner of the grand prize with the comic “Aurel Petrescu, the Pioneer of Romanian Animation”, Marjan Milanov and Srdan Todorović (Serbia), the winners of the 3rd place with the work “The Wind”, and Maximilien Van de Wiele, the winner of the mention for Belgium with the work “Tuzla”.

The “CAN for Balkans” exhibition consists of three sections: the main section, “Balkans in history”, presenting the history of historical comics from and about the Balkans; the section dedicated to the first international competition “CAN for Balkans” and the section with the winning works of this competition.

The star is the symbol that inspired the design of the exhibition created by the curator Nicolae Pepene, who is also the manager of the European project.

The “Red Star” is about the past of historical comics from the Balkans, with a focus on the clichés and stereotypes used by comics authors for the Balkan world during the communist period. The “Yellow Star” section, whose design was inspired by the flag of the European Union, comprises the contemporary artistic perspective on the Balkans in history in the form of 64 original comics made by 67 artists, of which 27 artists from eight countries were selected in the international competition of the European project, organized between March and July 2022.

The researchers of the “CAN for Balkans” teams are Dodo Niță and Nicolae Pepene (Romania), Oltsen Gripshi (Albania), Michel De Dobbeleer (Belgium), Aleksandar Stevanov (North Macedonia), Slobodan Ivkov and Marko Stojanović (Serbia). The members of the jury of the European contest were Prof. Univ. Adrian Cioroianu (Romania), historian, diplomat, author of BD scenarios, university professor. Ardian Isufi (Albania), artist, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Tirana University of Arts during 2016-2020, Etienne Schréder (Belgium), well-known scriptwriter and comics author, Drazen Kovacevic, one of the most important comics artists in Serbia and Tome Trajkov, comics promoter from North Macedonia.

The team that created the internationally traveling exhibition is made up of Nicolae Pepene (concept, curation, graphic design and exhibition design), Octav Ungureanu (graphic design and video animations), Ovidiu Cociș and Cristi Farcaș (video animations), Mihai Ungureanu and Cosmin Vișan (graphic design), RIZI Design Studio (star desk design), Ioana Șchiopu (logistics coordinator).

Launched on October 14, 2022 in Brașov, as part of the Brașov International Historical Comics Festival, traveling to Tirana, from November 18 to December 12, 2022 and Brussels, from December 21, 2022 to January 8, 2023, the “CAN for Balkans” exhibition will continue its journey through the Western Balkans by presenting in Leskovac (Serbia) in February 2023 and in Veles (North Macedonia) in March 2023.