COMICS FOR EQUALITY

COMICS FOR EQUALITY

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 11:52

International contest fights stereotypes with cartoons

comic for quality.jpg

A group of Danish hipsters are struggling to figure out why their Finnish friend has left them so abruptly ‒ is she plain rude, was she offended by something they said, or is this just the Finnish way of saying goodbye. An African immigrant saves a Greek girl from a burning house but is chucked out by the prejudiced mother because of the colour of his skin. A group of scientists are quarrelling violently over their opinions.

Comix4=These are just a few of the comics submitted for Comix4=, Comics for Equality, a project of the Africa e Mediterraneo, Italy, and several European partners, including the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, or WCIF, Bulgaria. The project is funded by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the EU.

The contest was open to immigrants of all ages living in all the countries of the EU, with the aim of triggering a debate on xenophobia and discrimination against newcomers. Using the emotional and highly effective language of drawings to tell a story, Comix4= is hoping to ease the way people accept the cultural diversity and the human rights of others, regardless of their origin.

Comix4=There are three categories in the contest: the fight against racism, stories of migration, and stereotypes, with six prizes of 1,000 euro each. The authors submitted about 50 comics. It is hard to sum up the origins of the participants. "Some of them were born to parents of different nationalities in a third country and are now living in a fourth one," Denitsa Abadjieva, Communications and Information Manager at WCIF, explains. "Counting the country of residence, we have participants from Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, the UK, Serbia and Hungary."

comix4=Immigration into Bulgaria is less than in other EU countries. Is there a need to publicise such a project here, then? "There are many examples of racism, xenophobia and discrimination in Bulgaria," Denitsa Abadjieva says. "Particularly bad is the attitude towards refugees from conflict zones, and this is true for both the Bulgarian institutions and the majority of the citizens, who perceive these immigrants as a threat. They don't show any solidarity with them. An obvious example is the Syrian conflict. In a public speech, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said that Bulgaria is threatened by a serious wave of Syrian refugees. The media interpreted this as an imminent danger, although Bulgaria is among the least preferred destinations for Syrian refugees."

CCC45When the contest is over, an 80-page catalogue with the best stories will be published in the five languages of the partnering countries plus four of the most widely spoken languages in Europe – Bulgarian, Estonian, Italian, Latvian, Romanian, English, German, French and Spanish. A special Comics Manual will be distributed free to help similar initiatives in the future. A travelling exhibition is also on the agenda, with high hopes of popularising Comix4= among the broader public all over Europe.

You can check all the comics online on www.comix4equality.eu and vote for your favorite until 31 July.

Issue 81

Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

0 comments

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

communust-bulgaria-exhibition.jpg
COMMUNIST BULGARIA GOES TO HUNGARY
Through vivid and at times poignant images Communist Bulgaria shows what has remained of this country's Communist material heritage.

mummer and girl.jpg
MUMMERS & MORE
Yambol, in southeastern Bulgaria, has been a hub for various folk traditions for many centuries. Nowadays, alongside Pernik in western Bulgaria, it is thought of as one of Bulgaria's capitals of Kukeri, or mummers.

greece.jpg
UNKNOWN GREECE, PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY ANTHONY GEORGIEFF
Yet Greece is a lot more than the well-travelled destinations such as Cassandra and Kavala.

FRONTIERS BRINGS THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST TO BULGARIA
The exhibition was organised with the support of the American Embassy in Sofia. Ambassador Eric Rubin opened the event, together with Amelia Gesheva, the deputy minister of culture.
Imperial Sand Dunes, California.jpg
FRONTIERS: THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
"There are many such places," he continues. "Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary… For myself I'll take Moab, Utah.

JEWISH BULGARIA EXHIBITION IN SOFIA
The exhibition covers some of the mesmerising and atmospheric remains of Jewish heritage in Bulgaria: from the mosaics of a 2nd century synagogue in Plovdiv, to abandoned and crumbling synagogues and cemeteries, the only reminders of the Jewish presence in
the magician.jpg
MUMMERS, CATS AND CANARIES
For over 10 years Yambol, the city in southeastern Bulgaria, has been the host of a major street festival attended by dozens of groups of mummers from all over Bulgaria.

tihomir stoyanov.jpg
TIHOMIR STOYANOV
Photography has of course changed beyond recognition since the digital revolution.

Durness, Sutherland.jpg
YOU'LL TAKE THE HIGH ROAD
The open road is unpredictable, it could take you anywhere and a return ticket is not guaranteed.

jewish tombstone photos.jpg
JEWISH BULGARIA EXHIBITION GOES TO LONDON
Bulgaria, one of Europe's least known lands, famously did not deport about 48,000 Jews during the Second World War.

guerassim dichliev.jpg
OUT OF PLACE
In Vagabond we usually don't cover theatre owing to the language barrier.

Nicole Simmons.jpg
NICOLE SIMMONS, ON TRAVELLING IN BULGARIA, NOT VISITING THE SAME PLACE TWICE AND COLLECTING ART
Nicole is also an epidemiologist and international health expert with 20 years of experience managing and developing technical assistance, training and research projects.