Grassroots Comics

Founded in 1997, World Comics Finland (WCF) is a registered non-governmental organization that has organized comic workshops in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. World Comics Finland also conducts lectures and exhibitions to display the use of art as a development tool in both art institutions as well as areas of social and political studies. World Comics Finland utilizes and is a heavy proponent of the Grassroots comics method and takes part in comics festivals to promote it.

Grassroots comics are a low tech communication tool for community activists to put their views forward. Grassroots focuses on story not drawing skills, is cheap, and also easy to produce. All you need is pens, paper, and photocopying.  Any problem that can make a story can be expressed through grassroots comics. Several areas of India including Goa, Uttar Pradesh, and Barmer participated in comic making workshops where students drew comics addressing various issues such as corporal punishment and infanticide. In Ngozi, Burundi, the Association for Peace and Human Rights (APDH) arranged a Grassroots comics tutor-training workshop for APDH’s one-year project: “Towards a culture of democracy in Burundi: local comics on elections and governance.” The stories were about land rights, violence against women, population issues, armed grenades etc. During this workshop, a total of 60 wall poster comics were produced. Grassroots has also been used for campaigning for children and women’s rights. Grassroots is a means of bringing change to a community or even a country.

For more information check out their website at: http://www.worldcomics.fi/

By: Jonathan Fernandez & Jorie Goins

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