In Polish, the word ŁÓDŹ means a vehicle propelled by sails, oars or engine, used as a means of water transport. Almost all around the world, it carries symbolic connotations:

  • it is an allegory of human fate in both individual and collective dimension,
  • it is associated with courage, when imagining sailors embarking on a voyage across rough oceans,
  • it symbolizes human longing for adventure and some change in life.

Łódź is also the name of the second largest city in Poland, which is an inland city with no access to navigable waters. We hope that the name of our metropolis will become an inspiration for graphic artists, especially those with a flair for satire. The theme should be taken up with humour, with panache and perhaps with a bit of poetry... This explanation, indispensable to foreigners, is also aimed at the Poles, for whom the popular usage of the name of the city might have blurred the sharpness of its paradox.

The urbanized area on the surface of the Earth is getting so crowded that there is no place left for new ideas for activating citizens or for the creativity of the local governments. More and more of the city’s functions are moved underground: transport and car parks, commerce, recreation... this tendency into the ground has been already foreseen by numerous cities’ strategies. Before these plans can be implemented though, many cities worldwide already push their citizens underground, in literal and allegoric sense. Hence the inspiration for the theme of this year’s edition of the completion: The city getting underground. Willingly or not...


  1. The aim of the contest is:
    • promoting the city, changing the traditional perception of Łódź and challenging the stereotypical image of the city.
    • creating an art gallery comprising works that could be used in actions promoting the city in a printed form or in the form of organized exhibitions.
  2. It is an open contest. Everyone can participate in it, on condition that they submit their works with the application form before the regulatory deadline. The contest is an international event.
  3. The theme the fifth Big Boat of Humour contest is:


    and traditionally:

    the city of ŁÓDŹ

  4. The original works entering the contest can be made using any drawing, graphic (including computer graphics) or painting technique and should not be larger than A3 format (297x420 mm). Also copies issued by the author, described and signed by the author are accepted by the Jury as original graphic works. Photocopies and xerox copies of the works, computer printouts of scanned works or any other kind of duplication using multicopy techniques, for example offset printing, which serve as reproductions of a work, shall not be accepted by the Jury. Previously published works, works entered in other contests or works to which rights do not belong to the authors shall also be excluded from the contest.
  5. Each participant may submit up to 5 works. The works should be unframed, provided with the name and the surname of the author and possibly the title on the reverse. The works should be accompanied with an application form, which shall be tantamount to the acceptation of the contest regulations and a permission for publishing author's personal data contained in the form, and with a CD with the electronic form of submitted works (in TIFF format, the resolution of 300 dpi, 15 cm at the base), which is the condition of placing them in the catalogue.
  6. The works should be sent to the following address: Łódzki Dom Kultury (Łódź Cultural Center), Traugutta 18, 90-113 Łódź, Poland till 31 August 2011 (with a note on an envelope "The Big Boat of Humour 2011").
  7. The organizers are not liable for any damage to the works during delivery.
  8. The Jury shall choose works for the post-contest exhibition and hand out the Grand Prix of the contest in September 2011.
  9. The ceremonial opening of the post-contest exhibition and the verdict announcement shall take place in October 2011, during the 22nd International Festival of Comics and Games in Łódź.
  10. The authors of works admitted to the contest shall be invited to the ceremonial opening of the exhibition and shall receive the catalogue. The organizers do not provide the return of expenses covering transport to Łódź and stay in the city. The organizers plan the exhibition of the original works admitted to the contest and the exhibition of printouts (on the basis of the submitted CDs) in Piotrkowska Street in the centre of the city.
  11. The works that shall not be admitted to the contest as well as the works shown on the exhibition should be taken back from the organizers from December 31, 2011 or they shall be sent back at the author's expense.


  1. The works shall be judged by the Jury of the Contest consisting of professional artists, the representatives of the City of Łódź Office and the Organizers of the contest.
  2. The Jury shall hand out the regulatory Grand Prix of the contest amounting to PLN 10,000, funded by the President of the City of Łódź. The prize is indivisible. The Jury reserves the right to resign from handing out the award. In such case, the amount is added to the pool of prizes of the next edition of the contest. The decisions of the Jury are definitive without the right to appeal. The work (or works of one author) honoured with the prize, together with all the rights, become the property of the sponsor.
  3. The organizers allow for a possibility of handing out sponsored awards other than the regulatory prize. Works awarded by the sponsors, with all the rights, shall become the property of the sponsors.

Author’s statement

  1. The author hereby states that the Works made for the purpose of this competition, that is in the frames of this contract, will be the object of the exclusive copyright belonging to the author.
  2. The author transfers all the rights exclusively to the City for the time of usage and management of the works made by the Author, in the frame of the contract, especially reports, research, slogans, timetables etc. The transfer of rights is giving the City the right to change, fix, copy with any given technique, put into circulation, digitalize, put on the Internet, publicly perform or reproduce, exhibit, use in editorial materials, including promotional, informational and educational materials, to use the work partially or as a whole, blend it with other works, add elements, update, modify, translate into given languages, change in size as a whole or partially, publicize and spread as a whole or partially.
  3. The author transfers also the ownership of the carriers, on which the works are presented, to the City.
  4. The rights resulting from point 2, will be transferred properly and the Author is responsible for the violation of the rights of third parties that may emerge from exploitation of the works.

Final provisions

  1. Sending works to the contest together with a filled-in application form, equals giving consent to participation in the post-contest exhibition (or a series of exhibitions), free reproductions of the works in all media and all techniques as far as promoting the contest and the exhibition is concerned. Works without the author’s signature will be excluded from the competition.
  2. Participation in the contest means accepting the above rules.


Rules (pdf, 217 kB)

Application form (pdf, 252 kB), which should be printed, filled in and sent together with the work(s) submitted for the competition