The BD Zoom prize seeks to raise awareness among school pupils of the amazing richness of French-language comics in Switzerland. The event has moved up a gear this year, with record numbers of pupils (740) taking part and a brand-new weekend celebration of comics to mark the fifth anniversary of the prize.
Almost 50 classes of pupils in their late teens are taking part in the 2020 event. Between November and February, pupils had a chance to discover the amazing richness and diversity of selected works written or published by a French-speaking Swiss author or publisher. The project culminated with the authors making around 130 class visits, which sparked a whole host of poignant conversations. In the end, the classes selected the three finalists, one of which will receive the prize after the final vote on 24 April.
The three finalists are:
- Femme sauvage by Tom Tirabosco (Futuropolis)
- L’enquête de l’inspecteur Mc Cullehan by Pierre Schilling (Les requins marteaux)
- Saccage by Frederik Peeters (Atrabile)
To celebrate the fifth year of the prize, enrolled classes will take part in a weekend comic extravaganza to be held in Carouge on 22-26 April 2020 before the final vote, where they will have a chance to see original work by the six selected authors (A. Baladi, F. Peeters, I. Pralong, P. Schilling, T. Tirabosco, Vamille) on display in the six galleries of the Vieux Carouge district.
Over the weekend, members of the public can also visit the exhibitions and take part in events including meet-and-greet sessions with the authors, screenings, quizzes, debates and even an open-air comic market (detailed schedule to follow).
An innovative partnership
The BD Zoom prize, which includes a cash sum of CHF 10,000, is the result of an innovative partnership between the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth and the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation, which is a founding partner. After an initial three-year commitment to the project, the Foundation has extended its support for a further three years. This collaboration dovetails with the Foundation’s other work to foster accessible culture for all and education in Switzerland.
Through the visibility it offers the selected authors, the BD Zoom prize shines a spotlight on the region’s comic book scene and supplements efforts to support reading in the Canton of Geneva. The prize continues the tradition of Illustration, comics and poster art in Geneva, which the Confederation selected for its list of the 165 ongoing traditions that embody the intangible cultural heritage of Switzerland.