Wednesday 22 July 2015

Analysis of ten grassroots comics made by female participants with disabilties in workshops in Mwanza, Tanzania

The cover of the book with a grassroot comic on secondary education for the deaf.

In 2010 Sanna Hukkanen and Sunday Ngakama conducted four grassroots comics workshops in Mwanza in collaboration with some Tanzanian NGOs that work with people with disabilities. The workshop was organised by SHIVYAWATA (an umbrella organisation) and funded by Abilis Foundation from Finland.

Adjunct professor Elina Lehtomäki of the University of Helsinki is an activist for education rights of persons with disabilities. She has written together with Sanna Hukkanen, a longtime member of World Comics Finland and an accomplished comics trainer, an article called “Tanzanian Girls and Women with (Dis)abilities Claim Their Right to Education" in the book "Inclusive Education Twenty Years After Salamanca" (Salamanca, Spain was the venue for a landmark conference on special needs education in 1994). The book was published by Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. of New York, U.S in a series called Disability Studies in Education.

Ten grassroots comics and their messages are analyzed thoroughly in the article, which concludes that the comics provide critical insights of what the girls and their families see as important in their education and learning in Tanzania.

The authors make it clear that grassroots comics can contribute with empowering tools to uncover abilities and voices, and they could therefore be used on the ground to help finding out the views and experiences of girls and women with (dis)abilities.

Posted by Leif Packalen