Conference

Please register and come to the opening conference of the Remix Comix project!

Remix Comix makes a plea for pencils! In these interconnected times we are “texting” each other non-stop. But what about telling the stories in drawings? We are remixing old comics with new comics, individual stories with collective memories, and we hope to find synergies between different artistic media.

Remix Comix is a project that aims to bring artists, designers, makers and museum professionals from different European countries together, and get them to explore the medium and it’s heritage. As a start, the conference “Comics, Heritage and Contemporary Art” will inform audiences, create new networks, and engage local and international comics artists.

The conference will take place in Novi Sad from 28-30 October, in the Creative District. The conference will take place during the “Comics City Project”, taking place in Novi Sad between 21 and 30 October.

Enjoy the remix!

Working method

During the conference, there will be a variety of activities, ranging from presentations, interactive and engaging workshops, forum talks, and seminars. There will be film-screenings, sketch-battles or cartooning competitions, and a zine-making workshop.

Hence, the conference will be interesting for both professionals working in the cultural sector and in heritage, as well as for any person that enjoys doodling and would like to learn more about the genre.

Content-wise, there will also be seminars about graphic journalism, inclusivity in comics, and comics scholarship, psychological themes in comics, and comics as a tool in media representation and heritage.

Programme – Friday – Day 1 – Heritage

Opening of the Conference

Opening of the conference

Programme – Saturday – Day 2 – Heritage

Seminar: Memory through Comics

In this seminar, Yasco Horsman and Mathijs Peters, two cultural scholars from Leiden University (The Netherlands), will invite the audience to reflect on how trauma’s from European and human history have been visualized in comics. They will talk about Art Spiegelman’s Maus and In the Shadows of No Towers, Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. How can comics relate individual and collective memories, and how can those be read?

Seminar: Representation through Comics

In this interactive seminar, poet and art critique Canan Marasligil (Brussels, Amsterdam) proposes an exploration of the many voices who turned to comics to tell their stories: artists and writers with a variety of backgrounds and fluid identities and experiences, many times marginalised by mainstream cultures. Canan will invite the audience to look at the work of comics artists from LBGTQ+ and migrant communities, people whose experiences are oftentimes pushed into the gutter. What happens when they take on comics? What can we learn from their work?

Workshop: Seeing the Creative District with New Eyes

Get out of your frames! In her workshop Barbara Müllerova (Curator of Lustr-Festival in Prague) will take the participants out onto the streets, where she will introduce the basic methods of ‘deep mapping’. How to get familiar with the environment, its inhabitants and users the best we can, so that it can be made into art? Specific methods of deep listening, alternative mapping and anthropological observation will be proposed to the artists and curators interested in site-specific art, as well as basic philosophical ideas of this approach coming from the field of critical cartography.

Workshop: Story-Catchers for Comics and Theater

In this workshop, Karolina Spaic and Sebo Bakker will present a board-game called Storycatcher. The participants are invited to play the boardgame, that helps to trigger the imagination, and to ‘catch’ new stories. Can these methods be used for graphic storytelling, and even for graphic journalism? The game has been played on many occasions, during festivals and performances. It also invites the comics readers to play with the option to create comics as a theater play. What about comics as a performance?

Balkan Memories: taking inspiration from history, trauma and heritage in the works of Blaz Vurnik, Boris Stanic and Aleksandar Zograf (Forum talk, film-screening, presentations, Q&A).

On Saturday, we will have a special programme on “Balkan Memories”, including talks with Blaz Vurnik (graphic novel script writer from Ljubljana), and comics artists Boris Stanic and Aleksandar Zograf (both from Pancevo). They will all present their newest books, in which the memories, hallucinations and legacies of Balkan histories are very present. Since they all have a very different approach, this panel talk will also invite the audience to rethink memories through comics, and how we can visualize and revitalize history.

The special programme “Balkan Memories” will be ended with a screening of the film “The Final Adventure of Kaktus Kid”.

The Final Adventures of Kaktus Kid.

“Final Adventures of Kaktus Kid” was made by the Serbian cinematographer Djordje Markovic, starring the world-acclaimed Serbian comics artist Aleksandar Zograf.

About the film:

Aleksandar Zograf, a renowned cartoonist discovers an unusual comic book from World War II. The comic’s hero is Kaktus Kid – a small cactus trapped in his pot. Intrigued, Zograf investigates into the life of Kaktus Kid’s creator – little known artist Veljko Kockar. He soon discovers that Kockar was arrested just after the liberation of Belgrade in 1944. He was charged for being a Gestapo agent and executed. Zograf’s investigation reveals a far more complex story: Kockar’s identity and artistic works were stolen, he possibly has an affair with the girlfriend of a guerilla soldier and he drew anti-communist propaganda for the Nazis. As he explores the story and pieces together the scraps of evidence 70 years after it happened Zograf is faced with his own personal and artistic dilemmas: why do these little drawings have such power to give consolation but also lead to violence?

Day 3: Contemporary Art

Presentation: The Tremendous Treasure of Belgian Comics

Roel Daenen is a comics connoisseur and heritage professional from Belgium. He will explain how and why Brussels has become the European capital of comics. Because it was here, in the first half of the twentieth century, that great masters like Hergé, Jijé, Franquin, Jacobs, Rosy, Vandersteen, and many others developed storytelling and graphic aspects of the medium as they went along. In the slipstream of this activity was the promotion, marketing and what we loftily refer to today as ‘participation’: readers who were allowed to have a say in whether or not to retain comic characters or series. There are also various popular, well-attended comics courses both here and abroad. In Brussels alone, the would-be student has a choice of three different schools. And yet in this happy-go-lucky, comic-loving land, there are major long-term problems and challenges that few people really acknowledge.

Seminar: Comics in the Museum

Barbara Eggert is a comics curator, scenario-writer and comics scholar from Austria. She will invite the audience to discuss and reflect on how we experience comics in a museum. Do we like to watch original drawings, put to a wall? Are there other ways how to show comics? She will share her experiences and research on comics in the museum, by using theoretical approaches and practical examples from her past experiences, for example at the Next Comics festival in Linz.

Presentation: Comics and Contemporary Art in Zines

Is print dead? Not when you ask David Schilter, the founding father and editor of the legendary tiny A6-zine Kuš! From Latvia. Kuš! Motivated and mobilized a whole new comics scene in Riga, Latvia, the Baltics and parts of Eastern and Central Europe. Hence Kuš! has, with all its charm, showed how zine-making is a great and powerful method to bring comics closer to new readership. In this presentation David Schilter will present Kuš!, it’s present and future.

Kuš

Presentation: Comics in the Public Space

You’ll find them all over Novi Sad, in restaurants, museums and galleries: the window drawings of Akinori Oishi. In this presentation, the world-acclaimed multimedia artist from Japan will explain the ideas behind his project “Window Drawings”, that he realized in the city of Novi Sad. Through these window drawings he finds a way to make contact with the citizens of Novi Sad, and change moods in the public space.

Workshop: Comics in Journalism

Comics Journalism is an emerging genre, that invites readers to gain information through drawings, infographs, and comics. Eva Hilhorst is the editor of “Drawing the Times”, a platform for graphic journalism that published reportages, interviews and reflections about current affairs – all in comics style. Among the many contributors to Drawing the Times are Victoria Lomasko, Aleksandar Zograf, Lucie Lomova and Judith van Istendael. In this interactive workshop, Eva Hilhorst will show how comics can be a journalist medium as well.

Sketch Battle, drinks, and laughter.

Sketch Battle

The Remix Comix conference will the ended with a Sketch Battle competition: both professional and amateur comics artists can compete, during a cozy get-together, who appears to the fastest, funniest, or weirdest in drawing cartoons, mini-comics, or just random sketches.