june 21-24 Rome festival of comics drawn and printed art

It's like this: You come home from CRACK! and you're happy. A little bit like you're still on CRACK! mentally. This happiness lasts for a few weeks sometimes. It's not that you want to go back but more like you never really left the Forte. The rest of the year you do what you can to make the rest of the world a better place. Around December usually, you start thinking about going back. A feeling that gets more intense as June gets closer. You start to plan for the next one, try to think of a bigger, better contribution. You want to return to the family, return home. CRACK! is the real world, the rest is just inbetween.

Mattias Elftorp
The destructive character sees nothing permanent. But for this very reason he sees ways everywhere. Where others encounter walls or mountains, there, too, he sees a way. But because he sees a way everywhere, he has to clear things from it everywhere. Not always by brute force; sometimes by the most refined. Because he sees ways everywhere, he always stands at a crossroads.
Walter Benjamin

There is only one way to participaté in a "do it yourself" comics festival. It's called Crack! Fumetti Dirompenti, the independent Festival of comics and drawn and printed art. hosted and entirely produced by Forteprenestino in Rome. This year it will reach its eighth edition. The event is this totally network-oriented festival. "Crack! is not a showcase or an extension of the art market, in order to become familiar with it you must totally experience it". And this experience is shared by authors, editors, groups and cultural production centres that exchange methods, stories and pictures together. "Every year 10.000 visitors come to Crack! walking through the underground passages of the Forte searching for a glimpse of the contemporary. In economical terms it means that we can continue to produce the festival without receiving any kind of funding, directly counting on the visitors' voluntary contribution and on the involvement of Forteprenestino production itself. We make pictures, illustrations and books: we organize meetings, cooperation between the artists, we provide a certain economical support for the travel expenses of participants who are not protected by the political cultures of their own country, or we simply buy a certain number of products from each participant thus engendering future productions and creating a small trade activity for Forte's infoshop". But most of all: "a festival like this one is realised by a network of new connections and work that is offered each time without the slightest fee. Crack! is also a good occasion for artists and young cultural operators to self-train. Plus there is also an international voluntary civil service camp that brings young people focused on art experiences from different areas together with the most extravagant group of artists around". Furthermore Crack! has created a publishing label called Fortepressa that already boasts about a dozen titles, all multilingual productions that cross Europe and the artistic productions around its borders, a project that is completely licensed under a Creative Commons statement. "We have produced, both in Italian and English, the new Swedish, Portuguese and Balkan comics, they become so globally releases". The Festival is hold in the squatted fortress in the outskirts of the city because "this is a project that we would like to acknowledge also outside of the city: the ability of creating new strong cultural centres interrelated between themselves, outside the routes of a nineteenth-century central urban locations. We are not interested in museum buildings or 'hip and trendy' museums, but a network of exhibition areas, live museums scattered about for a welcoming, multicentral and multicultural city, able to produce current ideas and images. The Crack! model is starting to create new open experiences which are entirely shared: new creations connected with Crack! way of imagining dystopian realities, but we are totally positive that the best is yet to come. There’s no more space for utopias, reality is now revolutionary. While everything around the entire capital system puffs, creaks and loudly screeches like an old steam machine".