Wednesday 31 October 2012

Genuine life-stories drawn by mentally handicapped in the Open Minds -program.

The comics are pasted up for the review session

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.

Monday 29 October 2012

Comics workshop at the Megapolis festival in Helsinki

Grassroots comics workshop in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki.

The Finnish NGO Dodo organised an urban environmental festival ”Megapolis” in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in October 2012 in Helsinki. As a part of the program, two grassroots comics workshops were held where comics were introduced as a medium for advocacy and communication.

The participants were inspired by videos and photos showing the use of grassroots comics around the world. After this, they made comics on climate change, on renewable energy, on immigration, and on global and local justice issues.

The festival also displayed grassroots comics posters made in Mali by Dodo’s partner organisation MFC Nyetaa. The facilitators of the workshop were Hilkka Jokinen and Heidi Leino who conduct grassroots comics workshops in Finnish schools in a global education project ”Maailman kuvat” (Images of the World), implemented by Nuorten akatemia (Academy of the Youth) and partner NGOs, of which World Comics Finland is one.

Thursday 18 October 2012

AMWCY making comics in Senegal

From the comics workshop in Thies, Senegal
The African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY) held an international meeting of its commission group from 08 to 18 October, 2012, in Thies (Senegal).

After the meeting, communicators of the Movement met to work on the AMWCY’s annual newsletter and to produce Comics on violence against children. The comics will be published in a separate publication. The participants in the workshop came from several West and Central African countries and the main languages used were French, English and Portuguese.

Ayenu Edoh Komlan (Togo), worked as a facilitator at the comics workshop and sent us some pictures and samples of comics. Ayenu had recently ran a comics workshop in Baguida, Togo on the theme of flood risks.

We were very happy to receive these news and to see that AMWCY are actively using grassroots comics in their campaigning activities. Comics power to them all!

If you would like to see more of AMWCY's comics go to their website: (in French), and (in English)

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
The workshop Hall in Thies.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Grassroots comics workshop in Nhamatanda, Mozambique

The comics were pasted up on the walls of the college for the critique session.

Jamisse Ofisse, a teacher in Nhamatanda Escuela de Profesores por Futuro (a teacher training college near Beira in Mozambique), has been active with grassroots comics for some years now. We asked him if he could arrange a comics workshop at his college, which he agreed to eagerly, and so we sent to the school a small grant to cover the immediate expenses, such as pencils, pens, paper, copying, etc.

Ms. Alice Elias Madondo showing her wallposter comic.
The three-day workshop was held in August and fifteen EPF students (8 men and 7 women) participated and produced about fifty wallposter comics. The themes of the comics were cholera prevention, hiv/aids, malaria control, and education for girls.

Jamisse told us the students were very positive about their workshop experience and he would be happy to continue to arrange grassroots comics workshops if there would be a partner organisation that could support the EPF, like World Comics Finland did. There would be no shortage of interested participants for comics workshops, Jamisse concludes. Below one of the comics made at the workshop, with a summary of the story: 

A community with malaria. Dona Ana goes to the Health Centre and gets nets to prevent her from  mosquito attacks. In the last frame, the author exclaims: Follow the example of Dona Ana! Story and artwork by Ms. Rosete da Graca Titosse.