Sunday, 18 July 2010

Brazilian comic book stars provoke thought in London

Do you take people for granted? Are you happy? Have you ever ran after someone to tell them you love them? These are some of the questions that Brazilian comic book artists Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bá are asking via their wall-sized comic book strip on the Southbank. I caught up with Gabriel Bá to find out more about their ambitions.

The wall-strip is an impressive and inspiring project. Initially, some of the questions make you feel sad, but when you consider them and try to answer them, you realise that you have some control over the outcomes, and where you don’t, you have, at least, the opportunity to choose.
And that’s the sort of reaction that Moon and Bá were hoping to achieve when they began the project. “We want people to stop and read [the wall-strip] and, hopefully, ponder about what's been written and about the connection with their own lives and the word around them,” Bá tells me. “We want people to take what they've read with them after they go their ways, and the idea that they won't be able to stop thinking about what they've seen. We want to touch people, to change them.”
He adds that the organisers of Festival Brazil on the Southbank invited him and Moon to the event because their “work has something to say, instead of being just pure entertainment. I think Brazil stood out from all other countries on these recent economic crisis, as the country is experiencing a growth. We are used to living among difficulties and keeping a good spirit and seeing the joyful side of life, and I think the world has a lot to learn from that.”
As part of their work with young, up-and-coming artists, Bá and Moon are well placed to tip the next generation of Brazilian talent. Among them is Rafael Coutinho, says Bá. “He is the most promising artist right now, for his creativity, his driving force to produce art, either comic books or paintings or prints, and his talent as a storyteller. He will certainly stand out from all others from his generation very soon.”
Watch this space.
Also on at festival Brazil today is a model of a favela and an interview with football legend Socrates by Alex Bellos.

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