News about the premier academic journal devoted to all aspects of cartooning and comics -- the International Journal of Comic Art (ISSN 1531-6793) published and edited by John Lent.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Sign the Petition: Save Italian Comics Center FRIGOLANDIA

This email was sent to COMIXSCHOLARS-L today; I checked with Gianfranco Goria and he confirms that it's legitimate, so John and I decided to repost it here.

I would appreciate it if you could please circulate this message on behalf of Vincenzo Sparagna, journalist, comics artist, promoter and publisher, as well as founder of Frigidaire.

Sign the Petition: Save the Art Republic of Frigolandia from an Unfair Eviction Order

The City Council of Giano dell'Umbria (Italy) issued an eviction notice to the Art Republic of Frigolandia, on March 11, 2020, during the Covid-19 crisis in Italy. Frigolandia is an extraordinary center of comics preservation, and a piece of history of Italian comics. The legality of this order is currently being judged by Umbria's Supreme Court, and the President of the Italian Republic.

The multifaceted Center hosts the artistic, comics, and satirical magazines Frigidaire and Il Nuovo Male; a graphic arts studio, and the Museum of Maivismo (that is, "Neverseen art"). The Center is dedicated to comics and illustration, and holds one of the largest collection of works by some of the most important Italian comics artists, illustrators, and painters, amongst them: Andrea Pazienza, Stefano Tamburini, Filippo Scòzzari, Cristoforo and Vincenzo Sparagna, Tanino Liberatore, Igort (Igor Tuveri), Pablo Echaurren. In these past decades, Frigolandia has been regularly visited by independent scholars and professors, as well as families, youths, and children from all over the world, contributing substantially to cultural tourism to the Italian Region of Umbria.

This eviction order represents an unjust threat, for several reasons: 
  • Frigolandia has never received public funds
  • has paid rent, regularly, since 2005
  • publishes magazines, journals, catalogues and studies
  • organizes successful exhibitions 
  • co-participates in cultural events sponsored by other Italian institutions. 
The eviction order would make Frigolandia disappear, destroying one of the most original, imaginative and creative artistic experience in Europe, which goes back to 1980, the year of Frigidaire foundation. The eviction would not just determine the closure of Frigidaire, but of all the other activities, including Il Nuovo Male, the Maivismo Museum, not to mention the scattering of the precious library and historical archive, which has been consulted and study by many Italian and international scholars from very prestigious universities (Yale, etc.).  Its closing would cause a great damage to Italian comics, as well as to illustration studies, and it would be a true cultural crime.

We ask international comics scholars to consider signing this petition, so that Frigolandia can continue living and freely work.

If you support art and comics, please sign and circulate this petition.

For more information
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