Komikilabea, a new space to enjoy and experiment with comics
Komikilabea will be held from 29 October to 12 November in different cultural spaces around San Sebastian. The programme will include the participation of renowned authors such as Canadian Nina Bunjevac, Antonio Altarriba and Kim, Susanna Martín or Javier de Isusi. A large number of activities will explore the world of comics through the side of it related to fiction and its realist and social perspective.
San Sebastian 2016, European Capital of Culture, has organised, along with the Regional Government of Gipuzkoa, the KomikiLabea sessions, a space to explore the world of comics and its different spheres from an artistic and creative point of view, and the language that this art, capable of tackling any issue and topic, uses directly or in a cross-cutting manner.
The programme will include a variety of activities that will tackle two lines of work: one close to fiction, with particular attention paid to one of its most widespread and popular facets, which is that related to the fantasy genre; and another more related to non-fiction that promotes critical and reflective thought in continuous dialogue with other formats such as essays, journalism and dissemination.
Komikilabea will receive the collaboration of Donostia Kultura, Tabakalera – International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Kutxa Kultur, Kunsthal or Kaxilda bookshop.
Komikilabea will include the presentation of several works by their acclaimed authors. Canadian illustrator Nina Bunjevac will present her work Fatherland (2015). Susanna Martín, on the other hand, will tell us about her latest work Gaza Amal at the Central Municipal Library of Plaza de la Constitución.
The duo formed by scriptwriter Antonio Altarriba (Zaragoza) and cartoonist Joaquim Aubert Puigarnau, Kim, (Barcelona) will present on 10 November the diptych formed by El arte de volar (2009), a graphic novel that received the Spanish National Comic Award in 2010 and the recently published El ala rota (2016), in which the authors continue to explore Spain’s political history during the 20th century through the experiences of their main characters.
Illustrator Iñaki Martiarena, Mattin, from San Sebastian will also present his latest work entitled Zarrakalmalda (2016) at a discussion directed by Igor Leturia.
Susanna Martín, Javier de Isusi, Ainara Azpiazu Axpi, Mai Egurza or Julen Ribas, among others, complete a significant gathering of renowned authors and others who are making a name for themselves.
Experimentation and gender
The Komikilabea programme will include different activities related to the world of comics, but beyond the exhibitions, the training and the experimentation they will take centre stage by bringing the ninth art closer to the public through a more creative approach. For this purpose, a series of workshops and masterclasses have been organised.
Catalan illustrator Susanna Martín, in collaboration with UNRWA Euskadi, will show the social facet of the ninth art in a workshop that will focus on the educational value of comics in developing countries. This more reflective and critical aspect of comics will also be present at the talk given by the cartoonist and illustrator from Bilbao, Javier de Isusi, which will be about the graphic novel Asylum (2015), published by CEAR – Euskadi (Basque Commission for Refugee Aid); a comic that focuses on a current issue which is the reality of refugees.
In addition, in the recently opened UBIK creation library by Tabakalera there will be a workshop that will take on the challenge of creating a collective comic, where during several sessions participants will put their creativity to the test by working in teams to develop a comic together. This workshop will include the participation of consolidated cartoonists such as Ibai Aizpurua, Luis Doviso, Joseba Larratxe or Mai Egurza, among others.
The 2nd Animation Sessions organised by the Kunsthal Higher School of Design in Irun will also be part of the schedule of Komikilabea, and will include the participation of international professionals from the sector such as Luis Doviso, Ana Cobos or Joseba Larratxe. These sessions will deal with all the stages of the creative process and the visual narrative of comics and animation through workshops, masterclasses and round tables.
The presence of women will be particularly relevant in this first edition of Komikilabea, and in addition to the collaboration of artists such as Susanna Martín, Mai Egurza or Nina Bunjevac, the gender perspective will also have its place in the agenda. The “Superwoman. A new perspective of the usual point of view” workshop by illustrator Ainara Aspiazu Axpi will deal with the presence and functions of women in the world of comics, using the Bechdel Test as the starting point.
Exhibitions, films and music
Exhibitions will also be an essential ingredient of the programme. Komikigunea, a centre for consultation and research into the world of comics created by the Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea Library, will host the exhibition by Canadian cartoonist Nina Bunjevac, dedicated to the album Fatherland (2015), starting on 5 November. On the other hand Kaxilda bookshop will exhibit several of the original illustrations in an exhibition dedicated to Asylum (2015), which it will present during these sessions.
The Horror and Fantasy Film Festival joins Komikilabea with three exhibitions: on 29 October there will be the presentation of the twelfth edition of “Euskadi fantastikoa” at an exhibition based on the work by the illustrator from Arrasate, Julen Ribas; the Okendo Cultural Centre will host a collective exhibition by several artists as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the legendary television series Star Trek, while FNAC will collect the work by author Fernando Mircala from Madrid as a tribute to the figure of Edgar Allan Poe.
In addition to these exhibitions, once again this year on 2 November the Principal Theatre will host a series of short film screenings dedicated to animation with works made with different techniques from all over the world Film will also have its space in Tabakalera. In this case, there will be the chance to enjoy two films: the short film Bloody Dairy by Min Liu (2015, Taiwan/USA) and Seoul Station by the renowned Sangho Yeon (2016, South Korea). The Korean director and scriptwriter is the author, among other films, of The King of Pigs (2011) and The Fake (2013).
This first edition of Komikilabea will also include a unique event combining comics and music. Splendor in the Grass provides the soundtrack for Come Prima, the work with which Lionel Papagalli, Alfred, won the Fauve D’or (best work award) at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2014 in a spectacle that combines imaes and music.
This year these and other activities will kick off a project that is here to stay and which seeks to become an annual event for comics aimed at comic enthusiasts and also at those interested in exploring an art that they have yet to fully discover. Komikilabea has been created during a special year for San Sebastian culturally, where due to its status of Capital of Culture it did not want to miss the opportunity to create new initiatives related to the ninth art and to create a tangible legacy linked to it.
The complete agenda of Komikilabea will soon be made public.