The world of comics meets escaping populations –

– Raising funds for the emergency immigrants in the Sicilian Channel –


by Fabrizio Scibilia, Mario Benenati and Marco Grasso

The Cultural Association “Fumettomania Factory” of Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Messina), Italy, deeply touched by the latest events occurred in the Sicilian Channel, wants to give its own supportive contribution to the populations involved in the continuous emergency of the landings on the Southern coast of the island. In particular, this initiative follows the tragedy occurred in Lampedusa the last October, 3, when more than 350 people died because of the fire and the following shipwreck of a pontoon freight with immigrants. Poor people chiefly coming from those countries where war joins to critical economic situations, like Syria and Somalia.

Fumettomania Factory wants to strive in order to express strong solidarity to these populations and offer a concrete support through the evocative power of comics. In order to reach this purpose, it will resort to its human resources and to its credibility, especially built through a continuous promotion work concerning the ninth art, and through its contacts with some of the most important professionals of the comics (in Italy and abroad).

The aim is the realization of an artistic event to which all the artists (professionals, beginners or students from comics schools), both those who are presently in contact with Fumettomania and those who are going to get in contact with it, can take part with the endowment of original works, having immigration, solidarity and hospitality of the people as their subject. The artist (comics author or illustrator) is asked to impress on the sheet his/her own sensations concerning the drama affecting these unfortunate populations, and a supportive message in order to express his/her vicinity to those who have nothing else to hope but crossing the sea, although surrounded by hundreds dangers.

The project consists of a collective exhibition where comics authors and illustrators from all the world are invited to take part.

The works will be collected in a traveling exhibition that will be inaugurated in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (ME ) and subsequently presented in other Italian towns . In any exhibition show the original works will be auctioned , and the proceeds from the sale of the works will be used to purchase (total or partial) of an asset, a tool , to be donated to an entity or an association that carries out humanitarian its activities on the island of Lampedusa and so make our small contribution to meet the pressing emergencies that have become daily .

We also involved our municipal government, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto , in the person of Dr. Maria Teresa Collica Mayor and the Councillor for Culture Prof. Raffaella Field, always engaged in social issues and the law, which will help us to identify specific needs arising from the emergency immigrants to meet with funds raised by the ” on the same boat .”

The Cultural Association ” Fumettomania Factory” is pushing for the involvement of other municipalities in Sicily as well as voluntary associations or organizations already operating on this front.

The specific use of the funds raised will be announced through the information channels of the cultural association ” Fumettomania Factory” and the organizations involved (blogs, websites, facebook pages , press releases ) .

Where possible, all the works will be collected in a catalogue whose proceeds are to be devolved to –the proceeds of the sale will be donated always for the same purposes of this initiative.

The time limit for sending the works is February 20th , 2014 (Worl Day of Social Law).

We are going to divulge the modalities for participation in the next days.

The initiative is supported also by:
Comune di Barcellona P.G., Scuola del Fumetto/ Grafimated di Palermo, Forum fumettistico ZTN, Fondazione Marco Montalbano di Viagrande (CT), Libera – Associazioni, nomi e numeri  contro le Mafie, Fumetti al Cubo di Catania, Associazione Cialoma Onlus di Castroreale.

CONG SA, which owns Hugo Pratt images copyright. gave us a specific license to reproduce without exclusive two drawings that we will use for promoting the project and for a possible catalogue (in which all donated drawings will be printed).

The Cultural Association Fumettomania Factory confides in an enthusiastic adhesion to the project on the part of the professionals of the comics world. “Because, from the sea, we wish to read only engaging stories like Corto Maltese’s ones, and not tragic news stories”.

There’s a facebook page created in order to show this project. It’s available at this link https://www.facebook.com/fumettomania.sullastessabarca

Fabrizio, Marco e Mario

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