World Comics is a Finnish NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) working around the world, organising comics workshops, lectures and exhibitions.
The concept of grassroots comics
A low-tech communication tool for activists – Community activists can use grassroots comics as an inexpensive communication tool to put forward their views.
Activists, who have very little or no experience from drawing, can in a few days learn how to produce grassroots comics.
It is the story, its drama and how it is presented, which is central, not the drawing skill. The activists’ passion and engagement in the issue at hand are evident in the stories they produce.
The main format is the wallposter comic, which is made by joining two ordinary-sized photocopies. The activists, who normally have no or little access to mainstream media, can make the grassroots comics their own medium.
The grassroots comics are cheap and quick to produce: only pens, paper and photocopying are needed. And, of course, a good story!
The distribution is important. The wallposters can be pasted up in places such as hotels, bus stops, clinics, schools, road-side food stalls, beauty parlors, barber shops, etc.
Grassroots comics have been used by organisations to focus on different issues, such as racism, sexual harassment, girl child rights, school drop-outs, hiv/aids, sanitation, and right to education. These are just a few examples. Any issue, on which one can make a story, can be expressed through grassroots comics.
There is also a selection of samples of local work from around the world on this page.