WHAT I HAVE SEEN

IMPRESSIONS, IMAGES AND STORIES FROM THE BEKAA

10 January 2019, 6 PM - 8 PM

GVC Onlus is proud to invite you to the presentation of the book Quello che ho visto ('What I have seen'), a graphic novel created by Italian artist Stefano Ricci.

The book is the result of a two-week visit in the Bekaa Valley, during which the artist had the chance to visit GVC’s projects and meet the Syrian communities living in the area. This graphic novel tries to tell their stories in colours, extrapolating a feeling, an emotion, a mood from each encounter, trying to encapsulate the sense of struggle of the communities that fled Syria due to the war.

As part of this experience, GVC decided to make some of the drawings created by Stefano Ricci available to the population of Bologna - where GVC is based and where the artist is originally from - setting up an open-air exhibition in the streets of the historical center of the city. Some of these images will be showcased at the book launch, as well as photographs that document their impact in a peculiar urban context such as Bologna’s.

A second book, with the drawings of Lebanese and Syrian children who participated in a workshop held by Ricci and organised with the Lebanese NGO LOST, with which GVC rehabilitated a school in Labwe, will also be presented.

At the event, attendees will also have the chance to enjoy some brief graphic stories of Ricci’s experience in the Bekaa Valley published in the Italian current affairs magazine 'Internazionale'.

Professor Ralph Doumit, renowned Lebanese cartoonist who teaches Illustration and Comics at ALBA - University of Balamand (Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts), will introduce the work and style of Stefano Ricci. Monica Zecca, director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura-Beirut (Italian Institute of Culture) in Beirut, representatives of Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (AICS - Agency for Development Cooperation), GVC, LOST and students of ALBA will also be present at the book launch.

'We could not have known what would happen, our eyes perceived the traces of the creative energy that passed us by – through the pages of this book as a warm wind – it became visible only at the end, in a swarm of drawings and in the smudges, in the ink trails that dripped from the tables, to the floors, to the exit, in an uncontrollable chorus of live voices, all unique and true. […] The act of drawing is certainly linked to desire, with the need to question oneself on existence, organic life, the community.' – Stefano Ricci

Stefano Ricci’s artworks were created within the framework of a project funded by AICS (Italian Cooperation in Lebanon & Syria), a project aiming to empower and promote the integration of young Syrians, Lebanese and people with disabilities in the Bekaa Valley, through vocational trainings and employment opportunities.

More information on this project can be found at www.gvc-italia.org/quellochehovisto/

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