Tuesday 7 April 2015

Comics in the Palestinian Camps in Lebanon

Ms. Sirkku Kivistö of the Finnish Psychologists for Social Responsibility returned recently from a project visit to Lebanon. We had requested her to see what kind of comics the children in the camps make. The Palestinian Refugee Organisation Beit Atfal Assomoud runs different types of leisure activities for the youngsters, and making comics is one of them.

Imad Mazen Abdullah leads the comics group in 
the Family Guidance Center in Ein el-Helweh.

The comics are from the camp Ein el-Helweh (Saida), where Imad Mazen Abdullah is responsible for comics activities. Imad is a student in a vocational school and volunteers at the Family Guidance Center in his free time.

World Comics Finland and the Finnish Psychologists for Social Responsibility ran a comics training workshop jointly in Lebanon in 2005. Imad was not taking part in the training, but he has learned how to make comics from those who participated. This proves our motto: to make grassroots comics is a skill you can easily share. 

Take a look below at some of the comics Sirkku brought back with her:

(posted by Leif Packalen)

1. Yousef Alareed (13 years). The story is about the conflicts that surround the children and states that if you don’t talk to each other there will be fighting and homes will be destroyed. It ends with the words: Talk to each other, life is good, buildings are good and everyone has a friend.

2. Mostafa Zeidan (14 years). This comic depicts the introduction of a traffic police and traffic signs in a busy intersection, where traffic used to be chaotic.

3. Also by Mostafa Zeidan: Khaled, a shepherd, feels lonely and calls for his friend to come and accompany him. His friend joins him for the whole day, as weather is nice. They enjoy each other's company.

4. Amal Baroumi, 11 years, made this drawing, which depicts the lost Palestine as a tear.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Comics workshop in Kolkata, India

The class presenting their achievements
Anna Pesonen-Smith and Chris Smith took part in the Tampere Summer University course “Comics as a Method in Multicultural Pedagogy” last year, and as a follow-up of their course they ran, through their own contacts, a comics workshop in an all-girl school in Kolkata.

Both of them have published their report of the workshop in their respective blogs, see links below:

From the very thorough report you can read how they arranged the workshop with the school and how the pupils performed. Anna and Chris both enjoyed teaching the comics method and said they would be pleased to do another workshop again. Anna’s blog contains also a description and many reflections on the Tampere course, which I read with close attention, having been the comics trainer there.

This is another example how the grassroots comics idea spreads -  through enthusiastic people.

(posted by Leif Packalen)

The subjects of the comics on the blackboard
One of the comics - about litter in the streets