Since its launch three years ago, the project entitled Stalowa Wola - The City of Comics has penetrated the very fibre of Stalowa Wola and served to bring out the best in the town.
Actions undertaken within its framework frequently go beyond the four walls. Interdisciplinary in nature (combining graphics, animation, music, photography, and video art), they include interactive workshops in comic and graphic design, exhibitions in public space, happenings, educational campaigns, as well as open air events. The main purpose of the project is to “enchant” the world with comic art, to create exceptional stories inspired by actual, everyday places in Stalowa Wola, and to provide an outlet for young people to spend their free time in a creative manner. The project is also designed to change the prevalent misconception of the comic book as the source of “entertainment” only, by pointing to the educational and didactic value of this art form, which is now an element of contemporary culture in its own right.
This year’s edition opens with a contest for the best short comic form. 15 selected artists will be invited to participate in special workshops to be held in Stalowa Wola between the 29th of June and the 8th of July 2012. The workshops will begin with a sightseeing tour around the town, with local residents acting as tour guides. This is designed to encourage the active participation of different communities in the project.
This year, the visual-textual narratives created during the workshops will draw inspiration from so-called oral histories – subjective oral traditions, which can be seen as historical documents of no lesser value than traditional archival material. “Oral histories” have been told since time immemorial; long before the invention of writing, they were the sole means of communication and helped build the cultural tradition of individual communities. Currently, they are extensively used by journalists, cultural animators, and teachers.