The Fumetto Festival is one of the biggest European comic festivals that has been taking place for 25 years in a row in the Swiss town Lucerne, located on the shores of Lake Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne). Every year, many comic fans from around the world gather at Fumetto, as only this kind of events enable live, informal communication between publishers, professional comic books, amateurs and readers.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation gave Andriy Benitsky a travel grant to visit Switzerland.
This year’s headliners were Richard McGuire, author of the comics on the unity of time and space "Here", the living legend cartoonist Guy Delisle, Patrick Chappatte, who has been drawing comic strips (comic books of 2-4 frames) for New York Times and Le Temps. Practically whole Lucerne embraces the atmosphere of Fumetto, because small city has 65 meeting points of the festival. Cafes, museums, bookstores, shops, WC – it feels like everything is related to Fumetto, so wherever you go, you're still inside the festival.
It is important that the organizers managed to convey the nature of comics: for example, going to the Kunstmuseum you can see the works of Gustave Dore and Rodolphe Thopffer, walking around the ordinary street you can see the street art based on popular graphic novels, in the chapel Rössligasse – an exhibition of Brazilian artists Magma, and in Heiliggeistkapelle – an exhibition of the original sketches of the same Richard McGuire. Each visitor is more likely find something close and coherent – such a wide genre-thematic spectrum.
"The festival started on April 14th after the opening of the exhibition by the results of the "Enough" contest, where our with Volodymyr Gavrysh graphic novel "Blindman", was exhibited. We are probably the first Ukrainians whose work has made it into the main exhibition program of Fumetto. Fumetto arranges such contests every year. The main goal is to search for young talents, and the recognized artists have a way to keep themselves up to speed. It was extremely enjoyable to observe the live contact of visitors with our work, to communicate with the representatives of other cultural and civilizational contexts about technical details of execution and expressive means. Being at Fumetto gave me an invaluable experience, which is primarily connected with communication with like-minded people", – shares Andriy.
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The Open Ukraine Foundation provides mini-grants for travel expenses for Ukrainian artists to exchange artistic experience at the international level and to improve the cooperation between Ukrainian and foreign artists. These grants give Ukrainian artists the opportunity to present their achievements to the whole world.
Andriy Benytskyi – editor, organizer of the festival "Franco-fest" and social project "Make elections", author of scripts of comics "Kiborgs. Beginning" and "Blindman".