How graphic-led stories inspire change
The 9/11 Commission Report runs to some 429 pages of closely typed text. It is a synthesis of thousands of interviews and the review of millions of pages of evidence.
Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón reworked the evidence in the report using their skills as graphic novelists. So, if something as serious as helping the world understand the 9/11 attacks on The World Trade Centre can benefit from this treatment, then perhaps what we thought we knew about comics needs to be questioned.
In Comic Connections, we showcase two completely different approaches that use graphic-led approaches to inspire change. Both have close associates with the team at Collage Arts.
Amazonas Comics has been developed in the UK by a team working with Yousaf Ali Khan, one of the directors of Collage Arts, to encourage school children to fight to save the rain forests. The twist here is that the comics are made available to children in the UK and in the Amazon Rain Forests. The aspiration is that by connecting children in what Amazonas calls The Big Classroom exchange.
The community arts movements mantra was act local think global is truly encapsulate in this project. As they say “by shining a spotlight on to the Amazon and promoting a deeper understanding of its biological wealth and diversity in schools, we hope to help in the fight to save the rainforests.”
So far, four issues of the comic have been distributed to schools.
Shujaaz has been developed by dedicated teams in Kenya and Tanzania to encourage young people to start discussions about big issues, like who to use their vote, how to make good choices for their sexual health and how to make a living.
Duncan Sones, part of the development and communication team at Collage Arts has been commissioning Shujaaz to suggest to young Africans that they should reconsider farming. Most recently he has been working for a UK organization CABI, which has kindly sponsored the inclusion of the Shujaaz panels in this exhibition.
The exhibition runs in Karamel until 8th June.
Amazonas – www.amazonascomics.com
Shujaaz – www.welltoldstory.com
Collage Arts – www.collage-arts.org