Ad occhi aperti is a project dedicated to comics, illustration, and drawing in all its forms.

It is born  in 2023, but it rests on the previous experience of BilBObul International Comics Festival, curated by Hamelin from 2007 to 2021, which represented an important step in the development of comics in Italy.

After fifteen editions, BilBOlbul came to an end because the goals for which it was born - providing comics with some level of cultural legitimacy, establishing the city of Bologna as a central hub for comics in Italy, and finding a place for graphic novels in the imaginary as well as the publishing market - seemed to have been achieved.

Ad occhi aperti continues and renews the work made with BilBOlbul.
It confirms its interest in contemporary comics while extending its field of research to illustration and all those hybrid narrative forms combining drawing and words.

Its goal is no longer just to promote works and artists, but to focus each year on a specific theme that represents a crucial node of our present times, and observe how drawing embodies it, reflects it, sometimes prefigures it.

For this reason, Ad occhi aperti partly deviates from a traditional festival in order to cultivate the relationship between artists and the city of Bologna, and to create spaces in which to develop artistic and publishing projects with a strong collaborative dimension.

Hamelin is a cultural association based in Bologna, Italy. Since 1996, it is devoted to promoting children's literature, comics and illustration through different projects and activities.

Hamelin develops visual and reading literacy projects for children and teenagers, bringing books and comics in public schools, libraries, and other educational spaces.
It also offers continuing education for teachers and librarians; curates cultural events, illustration and comics exhibitions.

From 2007 to 2021 Hamelin organised BilBOlbul International Comics Festival and since 2018 it curates, together with the Municipality of Bologna, the children's literature festival BOOM! Crescere nei libri.

Hamelin publishes the quarterly magazine "Storie figure pedagogia", the series "Oblò", and has edited several volumes dedicated to the history of illustration and comics.