November 10, 2009
People Still Fear FIBD Not Happening
I asked CR
columnist, Euro-comics expert and longtime Festival at Angouleme attendee Bart Beaty about a new prominent blog posting
calling into question the fate of January's Festival International de la Bande Dessinée.
"I don't think that there's much there in the FPI thing, and their only link is to a story that's ten days old.
"I found this on the Charente Libre blog, but it's almost impossible to read because of formatting.
"Basically, pressure from the Socialist party.
"I'm not sure that they're going to lose anyone unless this is still happening in January. Part of it is that the reaction is universally 'well, that's France', which is the response to most things. Massive train strike the opening day of the Festival? Well, that's France. Airports shut down? Well, that's France. I assume everyone else assumes that the Festival will just find a way to go on no matter what happens."
In that last graph Bart was responding to my assertion to him that if they don't make an announcement strongly in the other direction -- stronger than last week's governmental declaration that the show will go on -- they might start to lose people who have to make more elaborate traveling plans or have to put in for money or permission in order to attend, especially in a worldwide recession. He doesn't think so. I defer to Bart.
I think the key for right now is that today's eruption of worry doesn't seem based on any new information (the linked-to articles look like they're from October), and last we knew there was still an impasse over a few hundred thousand dollars (down from a higher amount), the Mayor and the Festival organizers are all back from their vacations and locals don't seem to be worried. I suspect there isn't a strong answer either way, at least not right this second, and to imply that someone out there really know what's going on but is refusing to share that information is wrong. There are real problems with one of the funding mechanisms related to infrastructure, they seem surmountable, a minor amount of political brinksmanship seems to be involved, and we'll see how serious it is next month as the run-up to the show intensifies. I think anyone declaring anything with more certainty than that is playing a hunch. Sometimes stories are like that, even when we want a firm answer either way.
posted 4:10 pm PST
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