“Osmose” was a project conceived between 2012 and 2013 by Reinhard Sauer, then director of the Goethe Institute Porto Alegre, with coordination and editing by comic artist José Aguiar. I was responsible for curating and accompanying the artists.
With the objective of intensifying the artistic exchange in parallel to the activities that celebrated the year of Germany in Brazil, the Goethe Institute invited six comic artists to carry out artistic residencies in a country where they had never been before.
Three Brazilian comic artists stayed for four weeks in Germany, while three German artists came to Brazil for the same period. The project was named “Osmose” – both Portuguese and German for “Osmosis,” a way to highlight the cultural interactions that occurred from these experiences. The exchanges took place in the second half of 2012. From Brazil, participated Amaral (Teresina), João Montanaro (São Paulo), and Paula Mastroberti (Porto Alegre), who were hosted by the German cities of Hamburg, Munich, and Berlin, respectively. From Germany came Mawil (Berlin), Birgit Weyhe (Hamburg) and Aisha Franz (Berlin), who were respectively in Porto Alegre, São Paulo and Salvador for four weeks. During the residency period, the participants fed the project’s blog with texts and insights in their production and experiences made during the trip (the blog is now offline, unfortunately).
The official launch of the Osmose project took place during Gibicon (the International Comics Convention of Curitiba), between October 25 and 28, 2012, in a debate with the presence of Mawil and João Montanaro, talking about their experiences outside their countries. Mawil also participated in the 58th edition of the Porto Alegre Book Fair during his stay in the city. The result of the project was a bilingual book, launched at the Frankfurt and Porto Alegre Book Fairs in 2013. I wrote the afterword.
In the image gallery below, you will find the book cover published by Libretos and a selection of drawings and photos that had been posted on the blog. It is indeed just a selection, and even a very small one. My hard drive is full of photos and drawings from this wonderful project.
Mawil’s exchange was the one I followed most closely, since it took place in my hometown. I have countless images and memories of these four weeks that strengthened our friendship. In the gallery below, I highlight the comic about Porto Alegre that Mawil made for the German newspaper Tagesspiegel and that I translated into Portuguese for publication in the local newspaper Zero Hora, what generated tremendous repercussion. (Click here to read the news in Portuguese published back then: “Porto Alegre is the theme of a comic strip published in a German newspaper”).
The last picture of the gallery is from the launching of the book at the Frankfurt Fair. I was there with Birgit Weyhe, Mawil and Paula Mastroberti.
You can find further information about the book on the website of the publisher Libretos (unfortunately out of print).
Period of the exchanges: 2012
Period of the project: 2013