Comics

Comic books are a familiar medium throughout the world. Telling stories principally through pictures, they are instantly comprehensible and usually associated with humorous stories for children. However, comics have a repertoire of expression equal to cinema and there is an expanding genre of comic-book literature, autobiography and journalism intended for adult readership.

A Perilous Journey

'A Perilous Journey' is a trilogy of 3 comics based on testimonies taken from Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Scandinavia in July 2015. The three Syrians in the story (names changed for their protection) have now thankfully been given asylum. Read their stories here to find out more. The comics were serialised in The Guardian and Aftenposten (11-13 Nov 2015) and an exhibition launched at the Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo (12 Nov 2015). The project was generously funded by Norwegian People's Aid. Illustration by Lindsay Pollock. Animation by Wael Toubaji.

Abike

Commissioned by The Guardian and facilitated by The Poppy Project, Abike's story is a first person illustrated testimony of one woman's experience of being trafficked from Nigeria to London. Please help amplify Abike's voice and share this widely. Illustrated by Gabi Froden.

Almaz

Almaz represents the story of thousands of African and Asian migrant workers trapped in abusive and exploitative situations across the Gulf. The comic reveals, through the true story of one woman, the experience that far too many domestic workers endure, depicting the systematic lack of protection for workers throughout the recruitment and migration cycle. Almaz amplifies the hundreds of stories silenced and the experiences of countless workers made invisible.  

Amnesty International: I Welcome

Incredibly proud of our Positivenegatives latest project for Amnesty International UK. They have been beautifully and powerfully drawn by the talented Asia Alfasi آسيا الفاسي. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, these graphics re-imagine the stories of six strong refugee women who face terrible danger and abuse, just because of who they are. By speaking out, we can push our governments to offer people like them a safe escape.

Born Julius and Julia

Commissioned by the Open Society Foundations, "Born Julia and Julius" is a testimony of one man's experience of growing up in Uganda as an intersex person. Illustrated by Gabi Froden. Animated by Wael Toubaji. Music by Karam Aizouq. Voiceover by David Ongwech Onen.

Dana's Story

Commissioned by CARE International UK, ‘Dana’s Story’ is a first person illustrated testimony about the difficulties that a refugee mother faced on her long difficult journey to Serbia, fleeing ISIS controlled Syria. Dana’s husband was kidnapped, presumed killed, by ISIS and subsequently fled with her two young children. We spoke to Dana and her children in refugee camps in Serbia in July 2016. The comic explores the vulnerabilities and dangers that war widows, and women in general, face while making these horrendous journeys with young children. These vulnerabilities increase particularly with women travelling alone, putting them at escalated risk of gender based violence. ‘Dana’s Story’ has also been published in German. Illustrated by Rob Davis.

Daria. A Roma Woman's Journey

Daria: A Roma Women's Journey, highlights some of the issues that ‪Roma‬ ‪women‬ face everyday. Based on fieldwork conducted in Eastern Europe in August 2015. Produced for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Illustrated by Rob Davis.

Enrique's Shadow

Commissioned by the International Committee of the Red Cross, celebrating the International Day of the Disappeared, Enrique’s Shadow is a first person illustrated testimony about missing people in conflict. The fieldwork was based in southern Colombia and looks at the human rights issues faced by families of the disappeared. Enrique’s Shadow has been published in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Thai, Mandarin, Korean, Russian and Arabic across international media channels and outlets.

Fleeing into the Unknown

'Fleeing into the Unknown: A Journey from Eritrea to England' recently launched in the The Huffington Post. This comic was kindly funded by the Paul Hamlin Foundation. This comic illustrated the journey of Merha, who escapes the extreme hardship of conscription in Eritrea and crosses Africa and Europe to reach safety in the UK. 'Fleeing into the Unknown' was launched alongside an Overseas Development Institute (ODI) policy report, Journeys to Europe: the role of policy in migrant decision-making.

Hooked

Hooked is a five-part comic of the human impact of the international drugs trade. Produced for the BBC 'Focus on Africa' programme and published in 10 languages, we developed the script and the artwork from a 3 week field trip to Guinea-Bissau in 2015 where we worked with individuals to tell their story. Known as Africa's first 'narco-state', Guinea-Bissau has been a key hub in the international drugs trade for nearly a decade. Hit by military coups and poverty, it's used by South American drug cartels as a route to smuggle cocaine to Europe. Illustrated by Tayo Fatunla.

Meet the Somalis

In collaboration with the Open Society Foundations (OSF) we produced a series of fourteen comics, based on personal testimonies, that highlight integration issues of the Somali communities across seven cities of Europe - London, Leicester, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Malmo, Oslo and Helsinki. The focus of the project was to accompany the OSF policy research on the same subjects and locations and to engage a wide, general audience and challenge negative media stereotyping of the Somali community. Read the comics here.

Nadia's Story

Commissioned by CARE International UK, ‘Nadia’s Story’ is a first person illustrated testimony about the difficulties that a Yazidi refugee mother faced on her long difficult journey to Serbia, fleeing ISIS controlled Iraq. Nadia’s fled whilst heavily pregnant with her two young children. We spoke to Nadia and her children in refugee camps in Serbia in July 2016. The comic explores the vulnerabilities and dangers women face while making these horrendous journeys with young children. These vulnerabilities increase particularly with women travelling alone, putting them at escalated risk of gender based violence. Illustrated by Asia Alfasi.

The Vanni

Funded by the Arts Council England, we are currently developing a 200+ page graphic novel, The Vanni, focusing on the Sri Lankan conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). From the perspective of a single family, we aim to show the personal experiences of modern warfare, the processes of forced migration and the struggles of seeking asylum in Europe. The first story in a series, adapted from survivor testimony following the 2009 Sri Lankan civil war. The Vanni forms the basis of PositiveNegatives Director Benjamin Dix's PhD in the transformation of complex testimony into comic books and has been meticulously researched over the past 4 years. Drawing on first hand interviews, references from official reports and cross referencing with experts in the field, The Vanni aims to take the reader through the immense struggles, horrors and life changing decisions individual families must make when caught in conflict. Read Anthony's story here. Expected completion: 2017