The great temporary exhibitions
03.06.14 > 16.11.14
100 years in the Balkans
The comic strip in resistance
One hundred years ago, the world learned of the existence of a city in central Europe called Sarajevo, then in Bosnia. The heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire had just been assassinated by a student belonging to a small group of nationalists. A month later, through the macabre game of criminal short-sightedness and political alliances, Europe was plunged into darkness.
While World War I is the subject of many tributes and commemorations this year, BSC has chosen to take this opportunity to pay homage to a comic strip still in resistance: the production of the countries that were formerly part of Yugoslavia.
Visitors may perhaps be surprised not to see these works shown in conjunction with comic strips from Bulgaria, Albania or Greece – countries that are just as Balkan as those which made up Yugoslavia. The exhibition designers felt that the alternative fate of the Albanians, Bulgarians and Greeks in the 20th century had spawned a production which differed from that produced between Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Skopje (Republic of Macedonia).
In order to do justice to such a vast subject, BSC has asked one of the finest specialists in this comic strip, Slovenian Štefan Simončič, to curate this exhibition. In this region of Europe which still bears the scars of civil war, it was particularly difficult to reconstruct the extraordinary panorama of comic strip creation in the six republics that made up Yugoslavia.
Visitors will soon realize that the turbulent history of this region of Europe has rebounded on this exhibition staged by the Belgian Comic Strip Centre. So many archives have been lost that it is now impossible to date some of the original works on display with any certainty. Most of all, close examination of the supports on which the artists worked reveals that creativity can overcome many difficulties, including a lack of paper!
Jean Auquier, BSC.
With the support of the Brussels-Capital region.