I’m here. The artist’s book dedicated to foreigners in Italy

I’m here is a book conceived, produced and illustrated by Fernando Cobelo placeholder image, starting with the stories of ten foreigners living in Italy today. A manifesto that, using the words of the author, wants to pay homage to the country that made him the person he is today.
It was September 2010 when, with a one-way flight, Cobelo left Venezuela and arrived in Turin for the first time.. “I won’t go into explaining how difficult and why it is the decision to leave the place that saw you born and that saw you grow up. We take our things, make an almost impossible selection of the most important objects for us and pack them together with our emotions. We greet the family, we cry for the inevitable physical detachment, we turn and cross the doors that direct us to the boarding points. And yes, we do it anyway, because we are looking for a little thing that our country has not been able to give us: a better future.”.


On 9 September 2020, the day of its 10th anniversary in Italy, Cobelo launches a call on his social channels, asking foreign users residing in Italy to share with him an anecdote related to kindness: “It could be literally anything: from the neighbor who gave you a basil plant because she had too much of it, to the stranger at the supermarket who believed in you and gave you your first job.”.
The result of that initiative is now collected in I’m here: a sum of illustrated stories that bring to mind – through Cobelo’s drawing – those personal events: private events that refer to small gestures, words and signs of friendship that have changed the way of seeing and living Italy, opening new roads to those in our country who have not grown up but for a thousand reasons it has happened to us, deciding to stay.


I’m here it was designed, printed and bound by Print Club Torino, a reality with which Fernando has been collaborating since the beginning of his career. “My story with the Print Club Torino has been going on for years. It was the first important reality in the area that, at the time, believed in my work. So much so that he continues to have a selection of our works done together hanging on the walls. It was natural for me to have chosen them as the reality with which I wanted to develop ‘I’m here’”.
The book, intended as a product, is a real one celebration of the collaboration between artist and printer, in perfect symbiosis. An editorial gem that shines for its graphic research and concept.

– Alex Urso


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