Using comics to change our minds and (hopefully) the world

There’s a new superhero in South Africa!

The International Labour, Research and Information Group (ILRIG) and the Environmental Monitoring Group have developed — in Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa — a story about Noma the superhero, to help everyone engage with and confront the curse of the three C’s: Capitalism, COVID-19 and Climate Change.

Noma and the Curse of the 3 C’s and is the second in ILRIG’s comic book series. The first is a comic book on gender-based violence.

The intention behind the comic is to show how a rampantly destructive capitalism is fuelling global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, but also how things are going to continue to worsen with the climate crisis. The comic also offers a way forward in responding to these threats, which entails the building of a movement and a reorganisation of society to put people and the natural environment before profit.

The telling of stories is a tried and tested way of bringing us all together, of sharing ideas and concepts in ways that we identify with and can internalise easily.

Using more accessible language to convey often difficult and complex debates and ideas is made easier with the use of images, which can convey them through visual representation much more effectively.

Creating something that attempts to talk to as wide an audience as possible, in accessible language and that speaks to real problems, is imperative if we are to build a collective understanding of our current conditions and the possibilities of change.

[Abridged from Daily Maverick. Download the comic here.]

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