The Mowgli Syndrome



In her latest work Francesca Nini attempts to create a comparison between Kipling’s jungle and our modern version, taking as inspiration a news story, a terrifying abandoning of a child in his apartment where he survived in a jungle of rubbish and waste. In this project Nini tells about an abandonment in obscure hidden locations that may well become a jungle and that with the inexorable passing of time, become familiar places in which the abandoned beings find and create their own “warm” nest.

The Mowgli Syndrome is that of abandon from the chasing away from “Paradise” to the painful exile, accepted as the only life; there is the theme of expectation of a fatal repetition of abandon that it will be salvation or a second glimpse into the existence of our very own lives?

There is no origin, no development if neither are simultaneously linked to destruction. It is in the nature of man, it is in nature, it comes from nature. And why in a book? “Because a book is a primary healthy purveyor of culture, but also for the simple reason that dealing in words is the most powerful drug used by man.”

There is no origin, no development if neither are simultaneously linked to destruction



Designed around the work of Francesca Nini Carnbonini the installation “ceciNESTpas” brings to 2014 edition of Burning Man the project MOWGLI SYNDROME.
The installation is a nest of 10 meters diameter built in the Burning Man caravanserai by 4 vultures: Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy and Dizzy. They will invite and welcome in their nest wandering travelers on the playa of the Black Rock City. But their nest will prove to visitor to be a jungle, to cross! Inside it all around the nest are arranged 14 illustrated board of the history of The Jungle Book. To advance in the reading of the history visitors have to overtake ropes tensioned 15 cm high over the ground. So while you progress through the story you advance into the jungle to get out at the end of the story.
(Designed by Biagio Luca Intorrella – Project coordinators and curators Francesca Nini Carbonini, Biagio Luca Intorrella, Ivan Coviello)

a nest that will prove to visitors to be a jungle



In her work there is fusion and practical experience of the tradition of illustrating books combined with the psychological complexity of art and literary culture.

The 16th of November 2013 Nini writes Transformazione, a manifesto based on the centrality of the vital and narrative spirit found in illustration and inspired by the evolution to growth and the inherent sentimental parameters of art, with a close look at painting. Transformazione intends to spread the culture of art in a way that is both simple and accessible to all.

Latest works:
“ALL’OMBRA DI PINOCCHIO” (Carthusia Edizioni 2012) in which the artist, through translating the metaphor of the puppet’s journey, already gave a glimpse of the importance of art as a tool for transforming lies into truth. Pinocchio’s awareness is to reality what art is to truth.
“UNDERGROUND” taken from the book of the same name by Lewis Carroll, a journey of images , of pictures which tell the story of Alice catapulted into a modern context, a journey that concludes with a green-coloured finale featuring flying cherries and feet immersed in magenta red.
“THE MOWGLI SYNDROME” taken from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, large-scale pictures telling the story of an open book and bringing forth all the paroxysmal and wonderful aspects of the Victorian era, comparing them with those of the present day.

“My intent is to tear down the veil between art and illustration, thus allowing everyone a clear and simple understanding of books, culture, art and painting” says Nini. A new way, a vital idea for keeping art and literary culture alive.




Illustrating has to overcome its internal motives, the private reasons for what it does, what its value is; this is because right from its birth, it has always been restricted by the austere rigidity of the production concept: a poor relation of the printed word.

The time is right to consider illustration as no longer a comment included by the artist/illustrator within the domain of language, or the story, but rather as unrestricted images capable of expressing the association between feelings and words.

Illustration is the portrayal of the state of mind, and illustrators, like painters, produce images, they create the fourth dimension, they satisfy our feelings and desires.
Emotions and feelings light up something within each of us, as if to say – I like it –I don’t like it: “The problem is not in managing to “catch” things, which can actually be done, but what if then it doesn’t light up something within you?” (Enzo Cucchi 2007)

This is the foundation on which the word “trans-formation” is based, the ideology aimed at “painting” or rather action and depicting a new type of image.

Text and illustrations should be seen as two equally beautiful and straight parallel lines that are not complementary but independent, with their own lives, which thrive and can even survive on their own.
Illustrating is art, like the art that burrows between the imaginary everyday and the genuine images of that time, and in the same way illustrating creates free pictorial images that dig between the words, that look for new sources of inspiration, which can be applied at 360°, from every direction in the new era.
It is only in this way that it is possible to approach a new conception of books where “Images and text are not one being the illustration of the other, rather they are an attempt to reach a single point from two different directions” (Sandro Chia 1999).

So in the same way that there should be freedom from the text for images, they should also be set free from this idea of cataloguing books according to the age of the reader.
It is nonsensical to divide illustrations into either “for children” or “ for adults: images are simple or complex.
Pictorial images are the result of feelings that are comprehensible even to the youngest reader, working to awaken their own different states of consciousness.

So there is the need to define a new book which creates neither internal distinctions (illustrations/text) nor external ones (cataloguing of the book/age of the reader) but rather which allows the reader a much greater imagination and intellectual creativity, without destroying in the child or adult the possibility of having an idea, a new and flexible feeling “ready to satisfy according to experience and knowledge”.

The category of images, cataloguing in general, is an outdated and discredited concept, it isn’t fluid, it doesn’t flow, it creates nothing fresh and new.
In order for them to correctly match times and desires, images have to be free, free to express themselves and in their application.

Illustrating, the synthesis of art and imagination, needs a turning point, a shift in direction, of movement, a constant evolution, a search for change, since what is current now will be rancid in ten years time, and will only be remembered as a scholastic exercise in good technique, if at all.

Trans-formation wants to give new value to the illustrator’s craft and creations, uniting the new concepts of current and feeling to pictorial images.

“As long as there is still time, it is essential to get the individual used to thinking, imagining, to being creative” (Bruno Munari 1981).


Francesca Nini Carbonini

4, via Petrarca – Milano

phone: +39 3356113331 +39 0292881235 -