Open Minds is a cooperation program between Karkulla, an organization working for the welfare of Swedish-language mentally handicapped in Finland, and VNF Folk High School in Karis, Finland.
About a dozen participants from the program attended a two-day grassroots comics workshop at the VNF School in October. They described in their comics events in their daily lives, and told about their dreams for the future. The medium of comics was familiar to them but they had never attempted to make comics themselves.
All participants made great comics and were happy to take copies to show at home and in their group accommodations. A set of the comics was also pasted up at the school, which has about 200 students.
The comics tell very vividly, and often with humour, about how the group members look at their own lives. There are stories about love and marriage, hobbies and leisure time, the routines of the group accommodations, and some philosophical stories. Below are a few details from some of the comics.
Again, grassroots comics proved to be a great tool for communication. The method is easy and it helps people to express themselves in a way that gives them great satisfaction.
Leif Packalen was facilitator at the workshop.
- Now I am ready to get married! from a love story by J.
- One has to think of how to move on, in order to have the best life possible…
detail from a story on diagnosis by S.
- You are now declared man and wife! from a love story by A.
-Strike! from a bowling hall story by M. who uses a wheelchair.