The First International Cartoon Biennial Niko Nikolla: the link that connects world cartoon with Albanian cartoon.
The art of caricature reaches the city of Pogradec, Albania for the first time, this year. This First Biennial, this year, conveys the values of this wonderful art through 50 participating countries. The wonderful tradition of this genre, which became much popular in Albania during the years 1950-1989, awakens again, bearing the far-sighted idea to con-tinue and convey the values of this beautiful genre of arts. In every Albanian house, "Hosteni" magazine conveyed the sharp criticism of the negative phenomena of the Albanian society and individual during the years of the dictatorship. This magazine, masterly run by its editor-in-chief Niko Nikolla, brought out great artists and cartoonists. There could be mentioned Zef Bumci, Dhimiter Ligori, Koco Devole, Bujar Kapexhiu, Ilir Pojani, Agim Sulaj, Mehdi Belortaja, Bardhyl Fico, Arben Meksi etc. The messages of these artists were humane, full of comic and tragic philosophy and satire. Hosteni" magazine was the most dignitary publication in the Albanian press, echoing greatly among all social strata. After the Fall of the Dictatorship and the Fall of Berlin Wall in the 1990s, the publication of "Hosteni" magazine came to an end. The system crashed, taking away many created values. Artists like Ilir Pojani and Agim Sulaj left Albania. Others who remained began to manage their skills in various fields and often driven away from caricature; just sporadic publications in the daily press.
In this International Biennial that will be organized in Pogradec from 18 to 20 September, the Jury, not without difficulty, has evaluated works that correspond more closely to the topic and today's topicality traumatized by the pandemic caused by Covid 19. This activity, led by Flora Nikolla, is the link that connects World caricature with Albanian caricature; it will make known through many later exhibitions to be opened, both, Albanian and foreign artists, marking a wonderful cultural experience and tradition.
Pogradec, Niko Nikolla's birthplace, whose name this Biennale bears, a tourist city, offers wonderful qualities and characteristics as regards the fruition of these international events. You are welcome to the first International Cartoon Biennial Niko Nikolla!
By Agim Sulaj
First Prize, Angel Boligan Mexico
Secondo Prize Pol Leurs Luxembourg
Third Prize Arben Meksi Albania