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Europe. Italian illustration recounts the Europe of peoples

On the occasion of the Giornata dell’Europa, which is celebrated every year on 9 May, the Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale and Fondazione Torino Musei presented the exhibitio Europe. Italian illustration recounts the Europe of peoples in 42 offices of the diplomatic-consular network and of the Italian Cultural Institutes around the world, to illustrate the founding values of the European Union and the European Council through the universal language of images.

Starting from the exhibition project created by the Fondazione Torino Musei at Palazzo Madama on the occasion of the 132nd Session of the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe, held in Turin in May 2022, the Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale started this initiative by commissioning two new illustrations: the first dedicated to the concept of community, inspired by the Treaties of Rome of 1957, and the second to the Ventotene Manifesto.

Thus was born an exhibition that pays tribute to Europe and its values with exhibitions and events, in the month of May 2023, on five continents.

The illustrators involved and the topics covered are: Matteo Berton, Palazzo Madama; Rita Petruccioli, The Treaties of Rome; Gio Quasirosso, Ventotene; Camilla Falsini, Freedom; Elisa Seitzinger, Respect for human dignity; Andrea Serio, Equality; Anna Parini, Democracy; Francesco Poroli, Rule of Law; Irene Rinaldi, Respect for human rights; Lucio Schiavon, Brotherhood; Ale Giorgini, Work; Emiliano Ponzi, Culture; Bianca Bagnarelli, Peace; Marina Marcolin, Environment; Gianluca Folì, Science; Giulia Acquanti, Inclusion.

The illustrations

01_Matteo Berton_Palazzo Madama
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Matteo Berton, Palazzo Madama

02_Rita Petruccioli_Trattati di Roma
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Rita Petruccioli, Trattati di Roma

03_Gio Quasirosso_Ventotene
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Gio Quasirosso, Ventotene

04_Camilla Falsini_Libertà
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Camilla Falsini, Libertà

05_Elisa Seitzinger_Dignità
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Elisa Seitzinger, Dignità

06_Andrea Serio_Uguaglianza
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Andrea Serio, Uguaglianza

07_Anna Parini_Democrazia
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Anna Parini, Democrazia

08_Francesco Poroli_Stato di diritto
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Francesco Poroli, Stato di diritto

09_Irene Rinaldi_Rispetto dei diritti umani
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Irene Rinaldi, Rispetto dei diritti umani

010_Lucio Schiavon_Fratellanza
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Lucio Schiavon, Fratellanza

011_Ale Giorgini_Lavoro
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Ale Giorgini, Lavoro

012_Emiliano Ponzi_Cultura
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Emiliano Ponzi, Cultura

013_Bianca Bagnarelli_Pace
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Bianca Bagnarelli, Pace

014_Marina Marcolin_Ambiente
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Marina Marcolin, Ambiente

015_Gianluca Folì_Scienza
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Gianluca Folì, Scienza

016_Giulia Conoscenti_Inclusione
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Giulia Conoscenti, Inclusione

Starting again from the Latin meaning of the verb "illustrare" - to shed light, clarify, explain - each author has proposed a distillation of his own vision, to depict and make the different values understandable to any audience, of any age and background, through a potentially clear message , immediate and appropriate to the speed of its perception. With a few signs and colors, rivers of words or actions have been summed up in the iconic simplicity of images that can remain etched in the memory of each of us.

A memory that dates back to that distant May 9, 1950 when the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community. In those years, the devastating consequences of the Second World War loomed over the European nations and Schuman had imagined that the fusion of coal and steel production would make a new conflict unthinkable. His historic declaration is considered the birth certificate of what is now the European Union: "World peace can only be safeguarded with creative efforts, proportional to the dangers that threaten it."

"On 18 October 1961 at Palazzo Madama in Turin, the Carta Sociale Europea was signed which opens up the full integration of rights in the continent. Those rights which, with the universal language of images - says Giovanni Carlo Federico Villa, curator of the exhibition - great Italian illustrators narrate in a completely original way, proving to be full heirs of the tradition of humanism and true interpreters of a new visual renaissance".