WHY WOULD A medium some people associate with superheroes and Snoopy be useful in explaining refugee flight and contemporary migration? Serious comics are not something new and graphic novels have demonstrated the narrative power of illustrative storytelling. We have found that this power is particularly well suited to working with refugees to tell their stories of trying to seek safety in Europe.

Illustrative storytelling can tell stories about difficult, complex issues from a single person’s perspective and visually depict their past and present experiences. When it comes to telling refugees’ stories, this form of storytelling can make it a lot easier for receiving communities to empathize with the experiences of an individual refugee presented as the central character in a comic than to understand the experiences of 1 million refugees.

Meanwhile, for fellow refugees, seeing their experiences reflected in that of the central character can let people know that they are not alone in their experiences. This versatility of illustrative storytelling is that it can be either being a window into another person’s life or a mirror of your own experiences.

A great example of this versatility can be found in one of our “A Perilous Journey” comics introducing Hasko, a dad and a husband. Hasko was getting by with his family and then suddenly he had to get on a boat and cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a safe place for his loved ones. He was scared, sad, terrified and lonely. His experiences draw the viewer in and help you better understand the experiences of not just Hasko, but of the many other people who have made these dangerous journeys to Europe.

Continue reading article by Poppy Ogier on Newsdeeply.

Advertisements