VOICES OF YOUTH: Urban Comics From ArtiViStory Collective

September 20, 2022 - September 27, 2022
Matthias Corvinus House
The exhibition showcased an artistic rendering of the issues expressed by young participants during the mediation programme within the Imagining Futures exhibition organized by ArtiViStory Collective in March 2022. Those results had been closely documented, analyzed and interpreted by ArtiViStory Collective. A puzzle of 360 triangular pieces and 114 one page comics (My Inner Hero in Cluj) drawn by 575 young students from 13 schools (20 classes, different ages and different social backgrounds) are the starting point of the current exhibition which imagines a playground for young people as an interactive experience, a discussion space on the different problems that young people are facing in Cluj and a creative exploration of the solutions they are providing to these issues. The topics tackled in the exhibition bring references to trauma and healing, solitude vs. togetherness, levels of social engagement, trust and mistrust, family, education and other concerns that play a major role in the personal development of the youngsters around us.

The artists from the ArtiVistory Collective (Evelina Grigorean, Melinda Ureczki Lázár, Lucian Barbu, Teodora Predescu, Horatiu Coman) make a cartography of situations and contexts, interpret and discuss the puzzle pieces in visual forms while emphasizing the voices of youth, and build up character designs as heroes that support and encourage the young people to act out their inner voice and to build up trust and care within themselves and within the community.

Besides the works of the artists from ArtiVistory Collective, the exhibition includes a series of 30 comic strip publications on the theme My Inner self in Cluj created by students participating in comics and cartoons courses in the Graphic Arts BA study programme of UAD and 96 one-page comics on individual or social issues created since 2019 by former students of the Comics and cartoons MA study programme of UAD.

Curated by Alice Iliescu, Anamaria Tomiuc and Daniel Popescu (University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca), the Voices of Youth exhibition promotes cultural engagement and participation both as a means of creative resource and as a form of collective research. It thus sets forth young people’s real problems, opinions, needs, desires or ideas, but also opens up new conversations and dialogues around OurCluj initiative, exploring our values-based urban living laboratory and shaping / imagining possible futures.

Funding partner: Fondation Botnar

Collaborating partners: University of Art and Design, SDG Colab, Engagement Lab, Municipality of Cluj-Napoca, Grupul PONT, Youth Federation in Cluj (FTC), Cluj Cultural Center (CCC)

Participant schools: Bathory Highschool, Kozmuta Flora School, “Emil Racovita” National College, The Green School, “Ioan Bob” General School, Gheorghe Sincai School in Floresti, Dumitru Tautan Highschool Floresti, “Tiberiu Popoviciu” Informatics Highschool, “Sigismund Toduta” Music College, Romul Ladea Visual Arts Highschool, Elf Highschool, “Eugen Pora” Theoretical High School, “Eugen Pora” Theoretical High School, Nicolae Colan Orthodox College