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In 2017 BilBOlbul carries out a transformation that we summarized with the slogan “one year of BilBOlbul, three days of festival”, to free itself from its temporal dimension and to create a more widespread interest. BilBOlbul becomes an operating subject throughout the year, with different projects according to the target audience, acting on two fronts: the first one, constant and continual, dedicated to the formation of a young and adult audience; the second one focused on initiatives and cultural events declined time after time by vocation and typology.

For this reason we decided to set up an exhibition about Lorenzo Mattotti’s first works starting from October, inviting the author to a debate with the ones who are starting their artistic path now. We want to offer a space for formation and dialogue, which does not necessarily have to be restricted to the days of the festival which features a lot of events.

The aim of the three day festival is to foster the meeting and live discussion of the community that have gathered around the event through the years, proposing a renewed modular formula with expositions and events that are built around an author, a genre, a style or a topic. This functions as a way to maintain the educational mission of the festival and at the same time to increase investigation and transmediality.

One of the key topics of this year is comedy, with exhibitions and events that aim to question if and how much this genre is genetically part of the language of comics: a conference with Italian and international scholars and an exhibition in the rooms of Biblioteca di San Giorgio in Poggiale will be dedicated to Rodolphe Töpffer, a swiss teacher who lived in the first half of the XIV century and is recognized as one of the fathers of comics. In addition, at Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna an exhibition with more than one hundred works by Jacovitti will be set up, after 20 years of his passing.

On the other hand, two expositions will be dedicated to alternative paths that the language of comics is developing, to enlight the perspective of the authors who moved their attention from narrative to a less linear approach: Eric Lambé, winner of the Fauve D’or prize at Angoulême Festival in 2017 with Paysage après la bataille (written by Philippe De Pierpont), protagonist of an exhibition at Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, and Conor Stechschulte at Spazio&, author of many self-published volumes and also of books published by Fantagraphic, which since its beginnings carries out an experimentation on non-narrative language. With their novels, they both demolish graphic novel’s strictly linear narration which we are already used to.

In order to find points of contact between the language of drawing and music, the project Il segno e il suono guided by Stefano Ricci e Pasquale Mirra was created in association with Bologna Jazz Festival, involving 25 students and young artists.

The gaze that BilBOlbul has always devoted to new talents will linger this year on the work of Fabio Tonetto, a versatile author who moves from animation to comics, from sculpture to photo editing, always preserving a surreal flair. Also, his presence will help to join together the talks on comedy and non-linear narration.

To conclude our overview, Bastien Contraire, french author of comics and illustrations, will create a game-exposition addressed to children. Using his illustrated book Gli intrusi (Ippocampo) as a starting point, the author will be able to talk about the topic of identity through a game of shapes and figures, in occasion for the Universal Children’s day.

From this year BilBOlbul will also be a publication, with articles and interviews which focuse deeply on the guidelines of the present edition, giving importance to reflections and main aims.

exhibitions and projects
workshops and portfolio review
off exhibitions


BilBOlbul is part of Transbook, an Europa Creativa 2014/2020 project
coordinated by Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse (France) in partnership with Europäische Kinder- und Jugendbuchmesse Saarbrücken (Germany), Tantàgora (Spain), Arts Basics for Children (Belgium), Nobrow Ltd (UK), Literárne informačné centrum (Slovakia), Hamelin Associazione Culturale (Italy)

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