Monday, January 5, 2009

Grassroot Comics

One of our previous posts, 'C for Comics, Constitution and Civil Rights' , mentioned how comics were being used in Kandahar to inform people about important issues like the constitution, civil rights and legal reform. 'Grassroot Comics', or 'comics for social development' are becoming effective tools to communicate important socially relevant topics.

COMMUNICATING the evils of dowry, alcoholism, bride burning, female infanticide and such can be a difficult proposition. More so when it is believed that a girl child is "unfortunate" or it is the man's "right" to beat his wife. Taking on this tough proposition Leif Packalen of World Comics Finalnd (WCF) and Sharad Sharma of World Comics India (WCI), decided to "talk" to the people through the medium of comics.

Everybody likes a good comic, says Packalen. It is humorous and light hearted and there is a story to it. The story would be of more interest to the reader when it touches issues close to or familiar to him.

Grassroot comics are low-cost and have a limited circulation and they are used by NGOs or any community-based organisation that feels it has something to say. The comics can be distributed as wall posters or booklets using low-tech printing.

These stories are not abstract or theoretical and they communicate a local opinion directly. It is the story and the drama, not the expertise of the drawing, that matters. Once it catches the eye, of say, an illiterate person, then he/she will ask someone to read it to him. With pictures depicting characters and backgrounds familiar to them understanding is easier and the message stays in the mind of the reader.
See more comics here

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