Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Grassroots Comics in Mwanza, Tanzania

Originally published on May 2, 2010

Comics tutor Sunday Ngakama (right) explains drawing to workshop participants from the Tanzania Albino Society. Picture: Sanna Hukkanen.

Shivyawata is an umbrella organisation of disabled people's organisations in Mwanza Region, Tanzania. Shivyawata arranged four grassroots comics workshops in Mwanza, in January 2010 for the local branches of Tanzania Association of the Deaf, Tanzania Albino Society, Tanzania Association of the Physically Handicapped, and Tanzania Association of Mentally Handicapped. The workshops were attended by 51 participants.

The workshops were funded by Abilis Foundation of Finland. The tutors at the workshops were comics artists Sunday Ngakama and Sanna Hukkanen. Read the full report.

The comics were made as wallposters. Some were also published in small photocopied booklets.

The whole idea of comics seemed a bit difficult for many in the beginning. But in the end, when the participants saw their artwork ready, it was very rewarding for them. The stories were often based on personal real-life experiences. 

The participants had very strong, even shocking messages in their comics, which made them a very powerful tool for campaigning and for changing attitudes.

Peer group scrutiny of the comics at the workshop for Tanzania Association of the Deaf. Picture: Sanna Hukkanen.

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