Founder and Director: Dr Benjamin Dix, Senior Fellow at SOAS, University of London
Dr Benjamin Dix has worked as a Communications Manager for the United Nations and various international NGOs across Asia and Africa for over 12 years. Ben was based in LTTE controlled Vanni, North Sri Lanka with the UN from 2004 – 2008 throughout the recent conflict. He has a BA in Political Geography of South Asia (the School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS], 2002) an MA in Anthropology of Conflict and Violence (University of Sussex, 2011) and a Doctorate in Anthropology: Graphic Violence: Representing Conflict and Migration through Narratives and Illustrations (University of Sussex, 2016). Ben is a PRINCE2 Practitioner, and has also recently been awarded a Senior Fellowship from SOAS, University of London. He is also SOAS’s Alumni Ambassador. In 2012, Ben founded PositiveNegatives to produce comics that explore complex subjects including conflict, migration and asylum. The work endeavours to combine literature, journalism and education. Visual story telling engages audiences of all ages, backgrounds and levels of literacy. Approaching subjects like conflict and forced migration through the prism of personal narratives emotionally engages general readers and students alike.
Emma has worked extensively in the non-for-profit sectors for many years, principally in charities, NGOs and educational settings. She speaks excellent Spanish and Portuguese, as she lived in Costa Rica, Cuba and Brazil for three years working for various charities, community groups and capacity-raising NGOs around women’s advocacy work and human trafficking and conflict. Emma is a trained counsellor which assists greatly in these areas, especially with regards for carrying out field research for PositiveNegatives. Emma joined the PositiveNegatives team as a Communications Consultant in 2014, and she has been working full time as the Education Programme Manager and Acting Strategic Communications Manager since March 2016. After working for the Home Office in Managed Migration, she has worked for various schools and universities including the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University College London (UCL) and the Centre for Post-14 Centre of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Emma has a First-Class BA with Honours in Latin American Studies from the University of Liverpool. She received an MSc in Violence, Conflict & Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London with Distinctions in both dissertations. Emma is also PRINCE2 Practitioner qualified, with an excellent track record of strong organisation skills. In addition, she was part of the highly successful team that won the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (UCL) Director’s Prize for Public Engagement (2014/15) due to the attained level of diverse stakeholder engagement & impact.
Web Developer: Srdjan Stojkovic
Project and Research Officer: Rachel Shapcott
Rachel recently graduated with both a BA in Fine Art from Coventry University and an MSc in Psychology from the University of Westminster. Rachel’s combination of creativity and logic has allowed her to work closely with artists and take pivotal roles in the production of exhibitions and art fairs. Since the completion of her Psychology MSc Rachel has been working as a Mental Health Social Therapist in Tower Hamlets. She became passionate about Human Rights issues after volunteering at the Helen Bamber Foundation, an organisation committed to protecting asylum seekers. Her role included researching the mental health needs in survivors of modern slavery and working closely with clients from countries all over the world.
Communications Officer: Caroline Bolster
Caroline hails originally from Atlanta, GA, USA and has previous experience working in social media for MMJ Labs. She graduated cum laude from Carleton College in 2015 with a BA degree in History, specialising in Middle Eastern Studies and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. After studying Arabic at Carleton and abroad in Lebanon (American University of Beirut, 2013), Caroline received a Larson International Fellowship to research rap music and hip hop in Tunisia for her undergraduate thesis. Caroline is currently studying a double MA program at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in Arabic and Near and Middle Eastern Studies.
Communications and Research Officer: Sara Wong
Sara is from Minneapolis, MN, USA where she graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. Her work experience ranges from state-level party politics to non-profit research. She participated in two study abroad courses that include a social justice course at the University of Cape Town, SA and an exchange in the social sciences department at the University of Amsterdam, NL. Her study abroad experiences left her wanting to engage in social policy and development in a more global context. She is currently studying a Master’s degree in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London where she plans to write her graduate thesis on the connection between visual art and social movements.
Research Officer: Ankur Shah
Masi is instinctively a visual thinker and storyteller, with a Master of Science in Design for Interaction from the Technische Universiteit Delft. Masi currently works as a Visual Designer, her role is to quickly bring concepts to life. That means translating ideas into visually compelling, working prototypes (whether apps, websites, or printed materials) to share with clients, and test with users. Her work draws on experiences amassed from a rich and varied background encompassing industrial, information, environmental and branding design, but it was the desire to push technology’s potential to better connect people and be magical which influenced her decision to specialise in interaction design. She approaches all projects in an energetic and impassioned manner, be it the pictogram design for international airports and healthcare facilities, or identifying meaningful opportunities for drivers around data captured from their driving habit and vehicle use. Masi kindly designed our fabulous new Why Comics? logo!