Life through cartoonists’ eyes: Annual Vavel festival kicks off

Very few specialized festivals in Greece have managed to appeal to the wider public the way that the annual cartoons meeting, organized by Vavel magazine, has. A possible explanation could be that the festival has developed into an open and festive celebration of the city, with a number of different things to hear, as well as see, since the exhibitions are accompanied by a variety of music shows. This year’s festival, which opens today, is highly politicized, as can also be seen in its main display, «System (t) Error,» which in previous years was built largely on displays of work commissioned from Greek cartoonists, though festival tributes give it a more international dimension. What could be more political than top French cartoonist Willem, from the French newspaper Liberation, who brings his work to Athens? The same applies to Yiannis Kalaitzis, whose work is usually a caustic political commentary. Voices of Italy There are three dynamic voices from Italy: animal rights activist Emanuela Biancuzzi, young Alessandro Gottardo, who depicts the life of children in an imaginary city in the aftermath of war, and Mario Dalmaviva, who spent five-and-a-half years in prison because he was a member of a leftist group. At the main exhibition, one encounters Jacques de Loustal, a towering figure in European cartoons, who is also well-known for his paintings. Swiss artists Marcel Bastian and Georges Schwizgebel are also interesting, as are the remaining exhibitions, which will run to Sunday. Technopolis, 100 Pireos, Gazi, tel 210.346.7322.