What is this comic book about?
The comics, designed for both children and adults, are five separate stories of young people from different countries (Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Iraq) who, despite difficulties, are trying to build a new life here in Slovakia. The comics enable child readers to look into the life of a refugee through authentic stories. The stories are divided into two parts, with one part focusing on their life back in their home country, and the other part focusing on their life in Slovakia. The comics focus on the joyful and funny remembrances of childhood rather than the traumatic experiences of the main characters, as well as their daily joys and concerns living in Slovakia.
Are the comics based on real stories?
The stories are based on real facts and actual narratives of the main characters. The author of the comics compiled the stories by conducting interviews with foreign immigrants over a long period of time. Although the stories feature fictional side characters at times, the main information on the lives of the characters as well as their childhood memories are based on actual facts and events.
Who is the intended audience for these comics?
In general, these comics would be suitable for children (around 10 years old), youth and their parents. However, these comics may also be useful for teachers to use as lesson material or activities with children. We believe these comics will also be interesting to fans of comic literature and the wider public.
What do the comics intend to communicate to the younger generation?
The joyful yet somewhat somber experiences of the main characters highlight their cultural differences, but also communicate that we all have similar desires and needs, such as the desire to have friends, study, and contribute to society. The comics convey the idea that the safety of a home and family presence are not to be taken for granted. They show that some people may face struggles due to where they come from, and that they require the help of others to overcome them. This comic book can serve as a tool for children to develop sensitivity on the topic of tolerance.
Who was involved in creating this comic book?
The comics were drawn by Daniela Krajčová, an artist and animator devoted to art projects for social causes. She has been working with refugees since 2009; in 2016, she was the finalist of the Oskar Čepan Prize for Fine Arts, for which she produced video stories of six refugees living in Slovakia.
The stories were written by Katarína Marinová (social worker and philosopher with extensive experience in social work with refugees) and Katarína Fajnorová (lawyer working at the Human Rights League, who personally knows all the protagonists featured in the stories).
Playwright and editor Jana Ondíková also contributed to this comic book by writing the script and creating dialogues for several short animated films. She is involved in the organization and scriptwriting for cultural events (Anasoft Litera, Fest Anča). She also writes the script for other comic books as well.
The final version of the comic book was designed by Matúš Hnát, a culturalogist and graphic designer. He regularly works with the Milan Šimeček Foundation (the design of the Fujin Multicultural Festival) and the Exitab music label. He also designed several books for the Artforum publishing house.
What are your plans after the release of the comic book?
After the comic book is published, we plan to hold workshops in several elementary schools together with the actual characters featured in the stories.
Why do you need our support?
For the production and release of the comic book, we received a small grant through the Human Rights League from the Bratislava Autonomous Region, but this amount represents only one-third of the money needed to publish a quality comic book. Please support the release of our comic book and receive a present we prepared for you! The presents will arrive by Christmas 2018 at the latest.
Support us through our crowdfunding campaign here. The campaign will last from 5 June-14 July 2018.
Results of the campaign can be found here.