Gianluca Costantini illustrates his journey with DiEM25

The Italian activist and artist has long fought political battles through thought-provoking drawings and has now produced a stunning e-book for DiEM25, whose activities he has accompanied since 2016

It’s not easy to retrace my path in DiEM25. I think it all started in 2015 during the Greek economic crisis, when I started drawing what was going on in the country, thanks to the knowledge of my wife Elettra Stamboulis, and we made a short comic entitled “Who’s who” in which the characters of this tragic comedy were depicted.

The character that stuck with me the most was Yanis Varoufakis, and even after he left the Syriza government, I continued to follow what he said and did on social media. I first came across DiEM25 in 2016 and was fascinated by how it merged politics and culture. Some people I had followed and admired had joined this new movement, like Julian Assange – about whom I published a graphic novel in 2011 – Ai Weiwei with whom I had been collaborating for a few years, Brian Eno, Ken Loach and many others.

I decided I wanted to be part of it. I started, on my own initiative, to make portraits of the main exponents of the movement, and came into contact with Italian DiEMers Lorenzo Marsili and Berardo Carboni, whom I convinced to use drawing as a tool of political communication, and with Judith Meyer and Srećko Horvat from the Coordinating Collective. On 25 March 2017, “The Time of Courage” was organised, for which I did all the communication. Afterwards, for many years, I continued as a volunteer in communication in Italy and occasionally also in other countries, especially Germany and Belgium.

It’s difficult for an artist to join a political movement – “taking a side” doesn’t really suit the romantic vision of the artist. But, after all, even my spiritual guide Joseph Beuys was among the founders of the Green Party in Germany. Moreover, my work as an online artist, especially on Twitter, is entirely political and social. For those who are not familiar with my work, I have been working assiduously for more than twenty years creating messages that draw attention to what is going on in the world, focusing on human rights in the past few years.

I love the idea of the European Union, but I would like it to be different, fairer, without patriotism and borders. So that what happened to Greece can never happen again. I also share DiEM25’s position on the war in Ukraine and hope for the creation of a movement of non-aligned states – being a convinced pacifist I am completely against the use of weapons as a tool to create a new war and new borders.

Gianluca’s DiEM25 e-book

In this small collection I’ve tried to put everything I have done for DiEM25 in chronological order, which I hope serves as a short illustrated history of our movement.

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