Comics strips for diversity in Kosovo

 

The Joint Programme "EU/CoE Support to the Promotion of Cultural Diversity in Kosovo*" is promoting diversity using different methods and tools. One of these is a series of comic strips, which via satire and humour combats prejudice and stereotypes and highlights the importance of cultural diversity.

 

The comic strips which have tackled issues such as the representation of the other, urban identity and intangible cultural heritage, are one way of promoting PCDK activities and objectives. Since its launch in late 2009, the project has focused its work in four areas: institutional capacity development, education and awareness raising, regional economic development and the finalisation of the outstanding works of the Kosovo Reconstruction Implementation Commission (RIC).

 

The comic strips reflect various topics deriving from these four main areas. They aim to raise awareness of cultural diversity in a format which is appealing to a wide range of people. Moreover, the topics covered are not just restricted to the agendas of the project, but go further and highlight issues that are rarely discussed among the public, although they are of great importance for society as a whole.

 

Using aliens as the main characters of the comic strips introduces a new and objective perspective on how things happening on earth are perceived from outside. Therefore, the message of these comic strips is of universal value, even if sometimes limited to the context of Kosovo. The way the characters and topics are presented is sufficiently entertaining to make readers enjoy issues they would normally not be interested in. Finally, the main point of these comic strips is to tackle important and often sensitive issues in a way that prompts reaction and reflection.

 

The project has so far set up a network of more than 600 people who in one way or another have been involved in its activities. Promotional methods, such as the comic strips is just one attempt to widen the projectís cultural community network further, and to capture peopleís attention regarding the crucial role of cultural diversity in promoting a prosperous and evolving society. The comic strips are published every two weeks in a daily newspaper in Kosovo and are available online: www.coe.int/pcdk. A total of fourteen comic strips will be published by the end of the year. The public response have been very positive and the strips have triggered many discussions between members of different cultural communities already.

 

Gianluca Silvestrini

 


 

*All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or populations, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo